There is a never-ending chase to make cars, trucks, and planes more fuel-efficient. A big reason is an environmental concern over the burning of fossil fuels. In the world of HVAC, the quest is to squeeze every degree of heating or cooling from each watt of electricity, therm of natural gas, and gallons of propane. So far, the industry has been extraordinarily successful, but the journey is not over. There are technological advancements in furnaces and air conditioners virtually every year.
New furnace mandate
One of the recent advances is something called electronically commutated low-wattage motors. Since no one likes tongue-twisters, in the trade they are just called ECMs. Just like other recent advances, they make furnaces more energy efficient. Since July 3, 2019, ECMs have been required as the blower motors on all new furnace replacements.
How it affects you
Kotz Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing could install the old-style motors if the furnaces were already in stock. Going forward, all contractors will now be installing furnaces with the ECM fan motors in homes around Waterford, MI. Here’s what our customers can expect:
It’s difficult to give an exact number, but the new motors do increase the initial cost of the furnace. Be sure to keep reading before you overreact to that statement.
Over time, owners should get their money back. During the life of the furnace, the Department of Energy estimates the ECMs will save consumers $340 to $500.
Breaking it down:
The motors themselves are more energy efficient. The ECM motors generally reduce energy usage by about 46% compared to the older-style motors. That should cut the energy costs in your home by about $67 a year.
ECMs and the repair vs. replace decision
The new furnace mandate is another factor homeowners should consider when deciding whether to do a furnace replacement. If a problem is found during a tune-up and it’s determined an expensive furnace repair is needed, the greater energy efficiency of the ECM fan motors means it could make even more sense to replace rather than repair. Kotz will crunch the numbers so you have all the information you need, but it’s a decision only you can make.
Quality without compromise
This is the motto we’ve been living by since we started serving the residents of Waterford, MI and all of Oakland County in 1929. When Kotz does any HVAC replacement you receive our 100% happiness guarantee. For more great information like this be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.