Starting this year on July 3, 2019 the United States DOE has mandated all new furnaces to come equipped with motors that use less energy. When we think about furnaces and energy usage, most of us only consider our gas bill. But, a furnace needs electricity to operate and the furnace motor itself uses more electricity to operate than you might realize. $25.00-$60.00 per month of your electricity bill is used to operate your furnace fan. This electricity cost adds up over the year but this motor mandate will help to lower the electricity side of your heating and cooling bill. The DOE predicts the new standard for furnace fans will save approximately 3.99 quads of energy, reduce carbon pollution by up to 34 million metric ton (equivalent to the annual electricity use of 4.7 million homes), and save Americans more than $9 billion in home electricity bills through 2030.
This required motor technology is not new- in fact it has been around for about 25 years. This former motor option has actually been quite popular and well received among our customers in the past so while we never look for more government regulations, this one at least makes sense. When it’s time to replace your furnace, all manufacturers will have products utilizing the highly advanced (and efficient) Electronically Commutated Motor (ECM). These motors deliver more airflow using less electricity than standard blower motors. And, because of the soft start/stop feature of the ECM motor, each move from cycle to cycle is smooth and quiet-never abrupt. The ball bearings in this motor make it more durable than conventional motors. You will also find that whether it is heating or cooling your home, this motor is far quieter than any conventional motor.
With a high efficient ECM blower motor and a high efficiency filter system you can enjoy the benefits of running your fan continuously, cleaning the air 24 hours a day. The ECM motor uses only about 80 watts of electricity to do this. Typical fan motors use from 400 to 800 watts of power to do the same work. These motors even save on summer cooling costs by raising the SEER rating of your air conditioner by one full point.
The cost increase of this technology adds about $300-$400 to the former cost of the furnace but the payback for your investment in these motors is under two years and the benefits are many.