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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    9

    Looking at replacing Furnace (2 Stage/Variable Speed ECM?)

    Hello,

    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
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,328
    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-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,739
    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
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,728
    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
    We really need change now

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    winnipeg
    Posts
    1,330
    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
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,470
    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
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,739
    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%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

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

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