About Damien

Damien McCusker, Manager of Arpi's residential service division, has been working in the HVAC industry for 16 years and has hands-on experience in new home installations, furnace and air conditioner replacements, sales and residential service. He spends most of his spare time being an UBER driver, driving his kids to soccer practice and games.

ECM or PSC Furnace Motor Replacement?

Phil Laprairie

ECM or PSC Furnace Motor Replacement?A furnace motor replacement may be a necessary but unwelcome expense, but it can also be an opportunity to increase the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. PSC (permanent split capacitor) motors have been the standard for decades.

An ECM (electronically commutated motor) is a relatively new type of blower motor that uses technological advancements to achieve lower energy usage, better comfort and improved indoor air quality.

How They Work

A PSC motor only runs on high speed. When your furnace turns on, a PSC fan motor will blow air at a high velocity throughout the ductwork. The air inside your home heats quickly, and the furnace will turn off.

An ECM senses how much heat your home needs and starts the heating cycle slowly. The motor adjusts its running speed accordingly, and under most conditions, it will run slowly for a longer period. ECMs cost more initially, but pay for themselves quickly in better performance and durability.

Benefits of an ECM

  • An ECM isn’t as loud as a PSC, and the heat will be evenly distributed regardless of how far a room is from the air handler or blower compartment. If noise or poor temperature control are issues for you, an ECM may be the best furnace motor replacement for your home.
  • Because they used advanced technology, ECMs use up to 75% less electricity than a PSC motor.
  • By avoiding the hard starts and stops that a PSC experience, ECMs can reach 90,000 hours of running time or more, compared to 40,000 for a PSC.
  • The longer, slower running cycle helps the air filter for the furnace trap more airborne particulates, which improves indoor air quality.
  • Because of the slow startup, air blowing from the air ducts is warmer at the beginning of the heating cycle. They end their cycles by ramping down slowly, which exhausts all the air you’ve paid to heat from the ductwork.

Opting for an ECM as a furnace motor replacement has many benefits. If you’d like to learn more, contact Arpis Industries, providing trusted HVAC services for Calgary homeowners.


Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace motors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Name of Artist/Shutterstock”

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