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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Looking at replacing Furnace (2 Stage/Variable Speed ECM?)


    I live in the Atlanta area and are considering replacing my 20 year old Trane Furnace and AC in the near future.

    My current furnace is a single stage and has a single speed blower and I have not had to replace anything on it in 20 years except the igniter. I am planning on only getting an 80% AFUE furnace due to the additional costs associated with venting and draining a higher efficiency furnace as my furnace and water heater are in a basement. Also my Utility bills are not that high.

    The concern I have is with the new types of blower motors used in the variable speed furnaces and the reliability of them. I guess my old trane single speed has the Older PSC motor design which appears to be more reliable than the ECM motors I have seen discussed.

    I guess if you have a 10 year parts labor warranty then it would be a non-issue however if the older technology blower motors are more reliable I would like to stick with that versus the variable speed blower motors that tend to fail in a shorter period of time.

    Does everyone concur with this? Also can you get a 2 stage furnace with an older single speed blower motor (PSC)?

    Just trying to narrow down my choice to the most reliable 80% AFUE furnace:

    1 Stage versus 2 Stage and whether to have a one speed PSC Blower motor or variable speed blower motor:

    Also are there more reliable variable speed motors than others? X13, etc?

    Thanks in advance for any discussion on this topic

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    X13 is not a variable speed motor. Variable speed motors are very reliable. How ever they are often installed on under size duct systems, which can harm them.
    Contractor locator map


    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
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    I agree with Beenthere............ECM motors are the most reliable motors. I would rather have a ECM motor than a 90+% furnace. But, again as B.T. said, the ductwork needs to be okay or the motor won't save $ as expected.

    Remember, the blower runs year round. Also, it's nice to keep the air moving for comfort and IAQ.

    Make sure to ask for a hi-eff. air cleaner.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    trane makes a xl 80 furnace . it s 2 stage heat with a psc motor . the reliability of a psc motor is best in my opinion although they use more electricity than the ecm motors if the duct is sized right

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Psc motors are a thing of the past in my area.
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    PSC motors and single stage furnaces are quickly becoming a thing of the past. The brand we sell (York) doesn't have many furnaces that are 1 stage they are mostly all 2 stage or modulating with x13 or ECM motors

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Rochester NY
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    How much do you spend on energy each year?
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

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