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rklingsten 09-11-2012 08:46 AM

Furnace ECM retrofit question
hi folks --

I have a 12 year old Trane furnace, just a standard old 80 ... I had it inspected this year, and the HVAC contractor said it was the cleanest one he's ever seen and he wouldn't replace it anytime soon.

I was planning on moving to either geothermal (first choice, but I have limited space for the loop, don't know how much a vertical costs) or an ultra high efficiency unit with an ECM. But if I'm not going to be replacing the furnace anytime soon, I was thinking of getting a ECM retrofit (like a Genteq Evergreen, etc.) for the current furnace.

My question is how sensitive is an ECM to flow restriction, i.e. my wife has allergies and we use the 3M Filtrete Ultra allergen filters in the furnace. I'm told these restrict the airflow quite a bit, but we don't really notice any problem currently. If I move to a ECM, is this going to cause me any problems? We are looking to do the ECM to have a more consistent temperature and to keep the air moving, as well as the side benefits of less power consumption.

Any thoughts?


Rob K.

bobinphx 09-11-2012 09:04 AM

First off, Let me say I am not a big fan (no pun) of ECM motors. Very expensive for what they are.

As to restrictions due to air filters. I would suggest you google up 4 or 5 inch media filters. There are a couple of sites that have drop in replacements. The media filters are sort of like the 3m filters on steroids!!! some have a lip that fits into your current return grill or there are others that slide into your ductwork, if you have that type of filter.

my experiance is that with the media filters I reduced my static pressure and the dust in the house (in the desert southwest) was reduced by at least 50 percent. And the filters last 3 to 6 months!!!

filters fast is where I get mine, I cant find them locally at all!!!!!

rklingsten 09-11-2012 09:15 AM


Originally Posted by bobinphx (Post 1007640)
First off, Let me say I am not a big fan (no pun) of ECM motors. Very expensive for what they are.

Thanks for the reply. My interest in ECM stems from my solar contractor. I put a 9kW system on my roof two years ago, and granted he also sells the Evergreen motors, he indicated they save quite a bit of energy and provide a more consistent temperature throughout the house, rather than the ups and downs with the current forced air. Plus we have quite a bit of deviation between the first and second floors, which I didn't really worry about since nobody was sleeping upstairs. But we had our first child in November, so I want to fix the temperature problem upstairs before he moves upstairs into his own room. I'm also tempted to move to a 2 zone system, either with or without the ECM.

Perhaps the zone system would be a better investment, for the more consistent temperature problem? I'm just afraid the furnace will be cycling constantly, I was thinking the ECM would be better in that instance.

imac service 09-14-2012 05:23 AM

I put a Evergreen retrofit in my house. In cooling speed. The amp draw was 0.9 amps. As compared to 7 amps

beenthere 09-14-2012 03:18 PM

Savings from an ECM motor vary based on how restrictive the duct system is to air flow. High resistance, little to no savings, and sometimes an increase in cost.

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