Replacing a Furnace Motor: Deciding on ECM or PSC

Replacing a Furnace Motor: Deciding on ECM or PSC

Replacing a Furnace Motor: Deciding on ECM or PSCWhen it’s time to consider a furnace motor replacement, all the different abbreviations can make it hard to figure out what will work best for your home. This guide will help you sort out which type of furnace motor replacement will work best for your needs.


The furnace blower motor has a simple but important function in your heating system. It is the force that pushes the heated air into your ductwork. From there the air is carried through your home and released into your living spaces.


To get air into all parts of your home, a decent amount of energy has to be used. Because of this, the energy efficiency of the motor is an important consideration for anyone who likes saving money on their energy bills — and who doesn’t like that?

Option 1: PSC (Permanent Split Capacitor)

The PSC motor does a simple job. It turns on, pushes air through your house at full speed, and then turns off until it’s needed again.

Pros: It costs less than an ECM.

  • It uses more energy due to running at full blast when it’s on.
  • The hard starts and stops cause more wear and tear.
  • It’s expected working life is about eight years.

Option 2: ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor)

The ECM can run at variable speeds. It can be programmed to use a gradual start and stop sequence that uses less energy than starting at full blast.


  • Energy Savings. The ECM runs more efficiently, achieving an efficiency of 65 to 75%. A PSC only gets around 45%.
  • Maintenance. Less starting and stopping means less wear and fewer repair calls.
  • Longevity. An ECM’s expected working life is around 10 years.
  • Indoor Air Quality. You can set your ECM to keep air moving at a slow speed even when your home is at the set thermostat temperature. This keeps air moving through your filtration system, removing dust and other allergens.

Cons: The initial investment is larger.

Ready to talk about your furnace motor replacement options or any other HVAC concerns in the Peachtree City area? Contact Powers Heating & Air today.


Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “feng-yu/Shutterstock”

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