Has anyone ever replaced their conventional furnace fan motor with an ECM motor?

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It sounds like a tumor transplant to me. I put a regular motor in my Trane air handler when the ECM motor went bad. They wanted over $1000 for the motor. Nobody could convince me I was going to save $125 a year with this (the original lasted 8 years)
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Actually, the main benefits from a true variable speed are comfort and noise reduction. Energy saving is just a fringe benefit. What you are wanting to do is certainly possible. You could retrofit a Model T engine to electronic fuel injection with enough time and money. I seriously doubt you are going to find an ECM for any where near $200 though. Fwiw, we have installed a lot of variable speed furnaces and air handlers (mostly Trane, Amana and Carrier) and I have not heard of any problems with electrical noise at all. Good luck with your project if you go thru with it. Larry
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On Dec 21, 11:09am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (lp13-30) wrote:

I checked comparitive airflow and watts consumed at the Lennox site years ago, I saw a 20% increase in efficency. The motor was 600, not 200$, Noise will be introduced from non shielded wiring and electronics into your tv, I think Trane had an issue with that a few years ago. As a retrofit my lennox dealer said no, at least you wont get any variable speed which is what the whole deal is about, a low speed on AC mode 50% more moisure is removed. I looked into doing it and decided it was not worth it.
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lp13-30 wrote:

Actually, you're wrong.
There are some ECM motors that are single or maybe dual-speed (not variable speed).
The main benefit DOES come from more efficiency at converting electricity into motion.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Was that $1000 for the motor only, or did it include labor?
How old was the Trane unit? I'm surprised that the motor wasn't covered by at least a 5 year parts warranty (and more likely 10 year parts warranty) - given that I don't think that ECM motors have been around for more than 5 years.
The retail price for some mid and high-efficiency furnaces (with ECM motors) is usually less then $3500, so I can't see the motor alone costing $1000.
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Intalled, 9 year old TWE Trane was jerking me around on the warranty. I thought I was supposed to have 10yr P/L they said it was 5. It was hot and I went for the $275 regular motor
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http://www.ccht-cctr.gc.ca/ecm_e.html
It's a Canadian study but shows some benefits
PV
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ECM motors require a control signal in addition to line voltage. Also, you cannot just wire the power to the motor, it requires a pre- wired molex plug specifically designed to plug into the motor. Likewise for the control signal. A control board is also required, that is, unless you know how to hot wire the motor control signal.
There is however a new ECM design avialable called the "Evergreen AH". It is specifically designed as a retrofit for PSC motors. I have no idea how much they cost. They are not rated at this time for furnaces, air handlers only. This limitation can also be worked around by someone with the correct skills.
The retrofit isn't really practical from any standpoint, even though it is possible to do.
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hvacrmedic wrote:

http://www.thedealertoolbox.com/evergreen.php?PHPSESSID eeeffb9e20ddb1d95882d3b5e1cd0d
What's the difference between a furnace-fan motor and an air-handler-fan motor?

Seems you're wrong. It's being marketed directly to HVAC repair shops exactly as a replacement for furnace PSC motors.
"Evergreen AH is the worlds first high-efficiency ECM replacement motor that is designed to replace factory PSC blower motors in residential air handlers. That means you can now offer your customers the comfort and efficiency of ECM in an easy-to-install replacement motor.
Built from the same trusted, field-proven ECM technology that is found in millions of OEM systems nationwide, Evergreen AH uses up to 25% fewer watts in operating mode and up to 74% fewer Watts than a PSC motor in constant fan."
http://www.thedealertoolbox.com/service-retrofit.php?PHPSESSID eeeffb9e20ddb1d95882d3b5e1cd0d
See also:
http://www.evergreenmotor.com/faq.php
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There is no difference in the motors. It's the control systems that are different.

I believe I said as much. This has nothing to do with the practicality of buying one.

Quoting a salespitch isn't the equivalent of enlightenment. You didn't even know that the thing existed until a few minutes ago. In fact you thought (very wrongly) that you could throw a standard ECM motor into any old unit. You should spend some time googling reliable resources and less time stating your own uneducated opinions.
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hvacrmedic wrote:

What -
On Off
What else do you need for a control system?

I've known about ECM motors for some time.

What is a "standard" ECM motor?
I know that there are drop-in ECM motors - even if they have dip-switches to set their operation in the absence of a control signal.
The Evergreen unit isin't the only drop-in replacement.
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More than the two words on and off.

You've known they existed. Great.

A "standard" ECM motor is an ECM motor that can be used to replace a PSC motor. For the difference between these and the other ECM motors in thier line-up, you can read the GE literature, or watch the videos listed here.
http://www.thedealertoolbox.com/training-videos.php

So what's stopping you from dropping one in? I don't know what you're trying to accomplish, but you seem to be posting a lot of opinions in this and other threads that FWIW have been mostly empirically incorrect. I'm done with this particular training session. Come up with another topic that's a bit more interesting.
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Some Guy wrote:

Hi, Don't even bother. It is DC servorized motor with matching control logic board. High efficiency furnaces are made to take advantage of this variable speed motor. Also they are not as reliable as ordinary motor. If you don't understand how closed loop DC servo motor works..
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Everything you're saying is true, but it doesn't mean that fundamentally ECM motors are more efficient regardless in what type of furnace they're used in.
Even if all I do is use it as a constant-speed replacement for a 50% efficient PSC motor, it will use less electricity.
The question is - how much, and what is the over-the-counter cost of a suitable ECM motor (not the HVAC-contractor-installed price).

That is probably true, and along the lines of planned obsolescence that's designed into modern residential HVAC systems.
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I've worked at and with a lot of companies engaged in all kinds of product design during my career. But I never heard any discussion of planned obsolence, which IMO is largely an urban legend. There is a real tradeoff between what it costs to make, how much you can sell it for, and longevity. In my experience, that is where the tradeoff is made. If you made a product that deliberately lasted 10 years, while it could last 20, it wouldn't be long before a competitor whose product did last 20 would start eating your market share because their product was superior. That's how free markets work.
The typical funace lasts 20 years. Given the cost, that seems a reasonable lifespan. How many customers would be willing to pay say 30% more for one that lasted another 5 years? Or 50% more for one that lasted another 10? Most people don't even plan to be in their homes that long today. Given that the energy situation and technology is constantly evolving, I don't see a problem with the lifespan or value proposition presented by today's furnaces.
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On Dec 22, 8:03am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

"Not designed to last 30 years" is logically equivalent to "Designed to last no more than 30 years". Like I said, it isn't necessarily a concious desicion, but planned obselesence is precisely what it is.
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Actually that number has been halved, 15 years being the present value. Some even say 12, depending upon who you ask.
Is the cup half empty, or half full? The point of that being that even though the systems are designed to last no more than 15 years, by taking the stance that they are designed to last at least 15 years you've convinced yourself that that means something different, when, as I said, it is a perfectly equivalent view to planned obsolesence.
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The notion of something being planned without it being a conscious decision defies all logic. My main point is that Some Guy referred to planned obsolescence designed into today's products. Which to most people implies there is some specific planning on the part of manufacturers that is different today to make sure the product only lasts a given number of years and then fails so they have to buy another one.
In reality, it's no different today than it ever was. Manufacturer's are competing in a free economy and reacting to it. That includes making trade-offs, as has always been done, about how long it makes sense for a product to last vs how much it costs to build it and how much people are willing to pay for it. If you want to call that planned obsolescence, then we agree, but I think it's a poor choice of words and it's nothing specific to today's products.
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On Dec 22, 8:33am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Again you're fooling yourself. Evaporator coils, a good example again, are known by the manufacturers to be inferior to older versions. The decision to market them despite this defect is a conscious decision. While the logic may not in fact have been "Well lets design them to be inferior so that they won't last as long", nevertheless that is precisely what they are doing. The objective is profits, and since this practice increases them, that is why they make the desision. Taking these two factors as premises yeilds the conclusion "planned obsolescence". It is a subconcious desicion, but only because they've either rationalized it as something else, or they have fooled themselves into believing that their view isn't equivalent to the latter, when in fact it is PRECISELY equivalent.
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hvacrmedic wrote:

It is not the same thing at all. Building something poorly or cheaply such that it doesn't last as long as the consumer would like is NOT the same thing as building something with the specific intent that it not last that long.
You are just as dead if you fall off a tall building as if you jump off. That does not mean they are both suicide.
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