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As you shop for a new heat pump or air conditioner, you’re undoubtedly looking for the top features that enhance home comfort and increase energy efficiency. Perhaps the best feature to accomplish both of these desires is an electronically commutated motor, or ECM. Here’s a look at just what an electronically commutated motor is and why many professionals believe ECM fans should become an industry standard.

What is an electronically commutated motor?

An ECM is a brushless DC motor featuring built-in speed and torque controls. This gives it the ability to change speeds as needed for optimal airflow. This unique quality differs from the standard permanent-split capacity (PSC) fan motor, which can only run on high speed.

What are the benefits of an electronically commutated motor?
  • Lower operating cost: ECMs consume as much as 75 percent less electricity than PSC motors. This is possible thanks to the adjustable speed, which allows the electronically commutated motor to run on low most of the time.
  • Better home comfort: Since ECMs run more continuously at a lower speed than PSC motors, you enjoy a more constant temperature in your home.
  • Quieter operation: An ECM running on low is practically soundless compared to a noisy PSC constantly running on high.
  • Improved air quality: Every time your air conditioner or heat pump kicks on, air circulates through the system’s air filter. This removes pollutants from the air before circulating it back into the living space. Since ECMs have longer cycles, more air passes through the filter per day, thus improving indoor air quality. An ECM has the same positive effect on humidity control.

If your current air conditioner or heat pump is less than 10 years old and has a PSC fan motor, now could be the perfect time to upgrade to an ECM without replacing the entire unit. Otherwise, be sure to find new equipment with an ECM to enjoy all the benefits. (Be aware that another name for an ECM is a variable speed blower motor.)

To learn more about how an electronically commutated motor works, or to learn about having one installed in your existing heat pump or A/C, please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. We serve customers in Martin, Palm Beach and Indian River counties.