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ECM Motor Retrofits

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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton

ECM Motor Retrofits

Anyone know where I can an ECM motor Retrofit locally in the GTA?

Was looking at the Evergreen IM and the Mars Azure.
The mars Azure and Evergreen I've found so far to be around ~$400-500 US shipped.

Thanks
49 replies
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Feb 15, 2005
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tebore wrote:
Aug 24th, 2016 4:35 pm
Anyone know where I can an ECM motor Retrofit locally in the GTA?

Was looking at the Evergreen IM and the Mars Azure.
The mars Azure and Evergreen I've found so far to be around ~$400-500 US shipped.

Thanks
Not local, but Amazon has the Mars 10860 1/5-1/2 HP motor for $360. That's about 40% cheaper than the US price. They usually go for US$200, so your quoted US$400 shipped would mean nearly US$200 for shipping.
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 9, 2006
7442 posts
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Brampton
rf134a wrote:
Aug 25th, 2016 11:10 am
tebore wrote:
Aug 24th, 2016 4:35 pm
Anyone know where I can an ECM motor Retrofit locally in the GTA?

Was looking at the Evergreen IM and the Mars Azure.
The mars Azure and Evergreen I've found so far to be around ~$400-500 US shipped.

Thanks
Not local, but Amazon has the Mars 10860 1/5-1/2 HP motor for $360. That's about 40% cheaper than the US price. They usually go for US$200, so your quoted US$400 shipped would mean nearly US$200 for shipping.
That's what i found as well but my original motor is a 3/4HP. The otherlisting has it for like $900 for 0.5-1HP
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 9, 2006
7442 posts
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Brampton
Just a small update.

I ended up getting the Mars 10860 off Amazon. I was originally mistaken my original motor was 1/2HP not 3/4HP shown in some literature.

I'll try to get some Power readings and post some steps of the install as well as my impressions of it. I'll try to update a bit later on some before and after on comfort levels as well as power bill comparisons
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
765 posts
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tebore wrote:
Aug 30th, 2016 3:39 pm
Just a small update.

I ended up getting the Mars 10860 off Amazon. I was originally mistaken my original motor was 1/2HP not 3/4HP shown in some literature.

I'll try to get some Power readings and post some steps of the install as well as my impressions of it. I'll try to update a bit later on some before and after on comfort levels as well as power bill comparisons
any update on this i have a single stage furnace ... wierd because the thermostat has a 1/2 on it indicating dual stage but the furnace manual and model number say single stage... anyways furnace bloweer only runs at one speed regardless. the startup is pretty loud. I am interested in making it more efficient and wondering if you saved any money on your utilities with the Mars Azure Digimotor?

according to this just off heating you can save 60-90$ a year in Toronto in electricity/gas
http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/publicati ... dings/6059

... the gas usage is actually slightly higher due to the motor not producing any/much heat. I am specifically interested in making my house temp more consistent and the startup more quiet. I am on rural propane so slightly more expensive than natural gas - last refill was 74cents/liter

I have a new house but it seems to heat up to my preset of 68 in the winter and then fall to 66 within 1-1.5 hours which seems very fast. Even when it is like +6-+9 degrees outside i heat up to 68 farenheit (20 celsius) and within 1-1.5 hours its down to 66. How do i keep the heat in/more consistent.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 9, 2006
7442 posts
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Brampton
staffpro wrote:
Apr 19th, 2017 11:05 am
any update on this i have a single stage furnace ... wierd because the thermostat has a 1/2 on it indicating dual stage but the furnace manual and model number say single stage... anyways furnace bloweer only runs at one speed regardless. the startup is pretty loud. I am interested in making it more efficient and wondering if you saved any money on your utilities with the Mars Azure Digimotor?

according to this just off heating you can save 60-90$ a year in Toronto in electricity/gas
http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/publicati ... dings/6059

... the gas usage is actually slightly higher due to the motor not producing any/much heat. I am specifically interested in making my house temp more consistent and the startup more quiet. I am on rural propane so slightly more expensive than natural gas - last refill was 74cents/liter

I have a new house but it seems to heat up to my preset of 68 in the winter and then fall to 66 within 1-1.5 hours which seems very fast. Even when it is like +6-+9 degrees outside i heat up to 68 farenheit (20 celsius) and within 1-1.5 hours its down to 66. How do i keep the heat in/more consistent.
An ECM Motor will not save any gas. At least not in any measurable way in my experience.

The biggest advantages I got from my ECM are

1. The 50W Circulation mode I have the fan running all the time. Combined with my HEPA equipped HRV and Electronic Air Cleaner. My air quality has never been better.
2. Power consumption of the motor is less than half of my old motor.
3. There's no surge on start up, in fact there's a nice slow ramp up.
4. The new motor is quieter.
5. Constantly circulating air makes all the rooms more comfortable/even temps & humidity (this was especially important in the basement)

2 & 3 Was key to me because I was sizing an inverter generator. I can run my heat and some critical circuits on a 2000W inverter generator.

I'm definitely using less power, I can see it via my efergy power monitor and my KW/H lists on HydroOne usage charts. Too bad Hydro keeps going up, my KW/H keeps going down but my bills keep going up (Wynning!).

NG is significantly cheaper for me so what ever I can to do to use less power is a huge help. I wish I had an NG dryer, it uses 6000KW

As for the temp drop you need to look at your air sealing and insulation.
Depending on outside temperature & Sun exposure it could take hours to go from 20C to 18C. I really need better windows.
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
765 posts
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tebore wrote:
Apr 19th, 2017 10:08 pm
An ECM Motor will not save any gas. At least not in any measurable way in my experience.

The biggest advantages I got from my ECM are

1. The 50W Circulation mode I have the fan running all the time. Combined with my HEPA equipped HRV and Electronic Air Cleaner. My air quality has never been better.
2. Power consumption of the motor is less than half of my old motor.
3. There's no surge on start up, in fact there's a nice slow ramp up.
4. The new motor is quieter.
5. Constantly circulating air makes all the rooms more comfortable/even temps & humidity (this was especially important in the basement)

2 & 3 Was key to me because I was sizing an inverter generator. I can run my heat and some critical circuits on a 2000W inverter generator.

I'm definitely using less power, I can see it via my efergy power monitor and my KW/H lists on HydroOne usage charts. Too bad Hydro keeps going up, my KW/H keeps going down but my bills keep going up (Wynning!).

NG is significantly cheaper for me so what ever I can to do to use less power is a huge help. I wish I had an NG dryer, it uses 6000KW

As for the temp drop you need to look at your air sealing and insulation.
Depending on outside temperature & Sun exposure it could take hours to go from 20C to 18C. I really need better windows.
Yes that's what I'm after more consistent temps and queiter startups and lower utility bill... Various online sources say 1000-1500kw hours saved per year which at my electricity rate of almost 20 cents including delivery and regulatory unit almost pays for itself- however I will probably use more gas so payback is more like 3-4 years, was install easy? I opened my furnace and I have one of these which I suppose I could sell on Kijiji to offset cost I see they are pretty expensive.
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Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
765 posts
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and yes i agree better air sealing im doing 3" of spray foam in basement as currently its the hanging blanket with no air sealing and nothing in rim joists thats probably huge air infiltration, i repleaced one door seal that i saw light through, and gonna do another one that i also see small amount of light through... - house is 5 years old so anything there is is probably obvious like the door seals vinly fins ripped from general wear .
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3037 posts
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Toronto
... wait a second. It's possible to turn any furnace from a single stage into a dual stage, just by swapping out the motor?

This can't be that simple. I have an ecobee thermostat, which can probably handle a dual stage... but surely there must be a control board or something that needs to be swapped out in the furnace too. No?

My single stage blower motor died last summer and I swapped it out for a new one of the same specs. Overall the removal/reinstall wasn't overly hard. Just takes time. But just like the motor that died, the new one has an incredibly loud startup that can be heard throughout the entire house. I've somewhat mitigated this by wrapping my entire furnace and the blower motor cage in Dynamat Extreme sound dampening mats (used in professional car audio to reduce vibrations). While it has helped attenuate the noise somewhat, the motor remains incredibly obnoxiously loud.
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
765 posts
26 upvotes
Repooc wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 9:23 am
... wait a second. It's possible to turn any furnace from a single stage into a dual stage, just by swapping out the motor?

This can't be that simple. I have an ecobee thermostat, which can probably handle a dual stage... but surely there must be a control board or something that needs to be swapped out in the furnace too. No?

My single stage blower motor died last summer and I swapped it out for a new one of the same specs. Overall the removal/reinstall wasn't overly hard. Just takes time. But just like the motor that died, the new one has an incredibly loud startup that can be heard throughout the entire house. I've somewhat mitigated this by wrapping my entire furnace and the blower motor cage in Dynamat Extreme sound dampening mats (used in professional car audio to reduce vibrations). While it has helped attenuate the noise somewhat, the motor remains incredibly obnoxiously loud.
I think you are confusing furnace "stage" which means your furnace has TWO or more BTU outputs (the amount of gas it is burning) VS the blower motor speed ( how much air is moving and how fast the fan is spinning and the wattage it consumes).

I think the main benefit of swapping the motor is lower wattage use- 50/60% reduction over standard blower motor and increased CFM of air flow and queiter operation. You actually use slightly more gas according to natural resources canada research because the motor is not generating any waste heat.

In my situation if i use NRC numbers i posted earlier in this thread i will use about 260$ less in electricity but burn 150-170$ more in propane at current prices so my net would be about $100 year savings. you can get a mars azure 10860 from the states shipped for $250.... further more i can probably sell my existing blower motor on kijiji for $100 bringing the cost of this to 150$ - 2-3 year payback and more comfort in home and quieter.
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3037 posts
571 upvotes
Toronto
staffpro wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 9:34 am
I think you are confusing furnace "stage" which means your furnace has TWO or more BTU outputs (the amount of gas it is burning) VS the blower motor speed ( how much air is moving and how fast the fan is spinning and the wattage it consumes).

I think the main benefit of swapping the motor is lower wattage use- 50/60% reduction over standard blower motor and increased CFM of air flow and queiter operation. You actually use slightly more gas according to natural resources canada research because the motor is not generating any waste heat.

In my situation if i use NRC numbers i posted earlier in this thread i will use about 260$ less in electricity but burn 150-170$ more in propane at current prices so my net would be about $100 year savings. you can get a mars azure 10860 from the states shipped for $250.... further more i can probably sell my existing blower motor on kijiji for $100 bringing the cost of this to 150$ - 2-3 year payback and more comfort in home and quieter.
So I currently have a single stage, 1 speed motor furnace

Is it possible to change it to operate as a single stage, 2 speed motor furnace, by simply swapping out the motor (without changing any control boards in the furnace)?
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
765 posts
26 upvotes
Repooc wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 10:03 am
So I currently have a single stage, 1 speed motor furnace

Is it possible to change it to operate as a single stage, 2 speed motor furnace, by simply swapping out the motor (without changing any control boards in the furnace)?
tebore correct me if i'm wrong but i believe the mars azure autosizes and adjusts pseed to compensate for filter slowly clogging up to maintain some sort of static pressure of 50 from the floor vents. I believe when you put the thermostat to "fan continuosly on"/circ it defaults to the 625 low speed rpm low wattage and when you turn heat or cool on it defaults to a higher amount that uses less power than your current PSC motor. As opposed to the PSC motor which whether you keep your system on circulate or heat or cold the fan always runs at the same speed.

someone correct me if i am wrong .
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
765 posts
26 upvotes
Repooc wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 10:03 am
So I currently have a single stage, 1 speed motor furnace

Is it possible to change it to operate as a single stage, 2 speed motor furnace, by simply swapping out the motor (without changing any control boards in the furnace)?
here is reply i got from MArs that explains everything

<<<Today, you have a standard induction PSC motor probably with 1 heat and 1 cool speed tap….and a ground wire and a neutral. When you go into heat, the relay on the board puts a +115V on the heat speed tap and the motor runs at that speed. When the call is over, the +115 relay opens up and the motor stops. This same logic occurs on the cool side. The efficiency of a PSC motor is probably about 65% efficient at best.

When you install the Azure motor, the ‘control’ is inside the motor (silver part). This internal control allows Azure to wire up just like your old PSC motor…..115V taps for heat, cool, neutral, and ground. That is correct; the logic of Azure is identical to your old motor. Below is a basic installation video. Part of the installation process requires that you ‘auto size’ the motor for your ducted system. The motor actually runs about 60-90 seconds…it monitors toque being applied to the blower wheel AND the resulting RPM. The motor knows all of this and then assigns torque to each of the speed taps to give you a range of speeds for YOUR system from about 1075 RPM to 700 RPM. There is a dedicated 625RPM tap that is your constant fan tap; 625 has been programmed permanently on that tap. This auto sizing process is performed at the time of installation. Once it is done, the motor has self assigned the necessary torque for your application. The process can be repeated as many times as you wish….for example you might have forgotten to open all the grills….or put in a brand new air filter prior to auto sizing….no problem, just re auto size it.



The Azure motor is 80% to 85% efficient. You will consume fewer WATTS than your old motor. Do not compare AMPS…you will be disappointed. Power = Volts x Amps x Power Factor (a constant inside your motor). You will find that if you are a constant fan user, ECMs are much much less expensive to run 24/7….probably $200 - $300 per year. You obviously save money if you only run in AUTO mode, but it will not be nearly as dramatic as constant fan mode (ideal for air filtration).>>>>
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Feb 9, 2006
7442 posts
1545 upvotes
Brampton
staffpro wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 10:13 am
tebore correct me if i'm wrong but i believe the mars azure autosizes and adjusts pseed to compensate for filter slowly clogging up to maintain some sort of static pressure of 50 from the floor vents. I believe when you put the thermostat to "fan continuosly on"/circ it defaults to the 625 low speed rpm low wattage and when you turn heat or cool on it defaults to a higher amount that uses less power than your current PSC motor. As opposed to the PSC motor which whether you keep your system on circulate or heat or cold the fan always runs at the same speed.

someone correct me if i am wrong .
I outlined my install here

https://thelazycouple.com/give-your-fur ... b7bfb4f8ea

As for how it works.

Assuming your furnace is pretty average like mine is.

How it normally works is there's CIRC, HEAT, COOL taps your furnace control board.
The Azure has the 625RPM 50W tap. Lo, Mid, Mid High and High like your regular PSC motor but the PSC lacks the special low speed.

Usually furnaces using the PSC are connected like this
CIRC is N/C (Usually)
Heat is Mid
Cool is High

When you set your thermostat (dumb, smart, ecobee it doesn't matter) to Fan it calls the COOL tap.

So the only way to really take advantage of the special speed is just to use the CIRC tap. Not via calling for fan on your thermostat.

Also power factor doesn't matter too much since residential charges don't have a a correction for power factor. We're talking about dollar correction charges here.
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
3037 posts
571 upvotes
Toronto
Ugh.... I'm so mad at myself for not knowing this type of product existed! This is EXACTLY what i should have bought when my blower motor died last summer.

Then again, we were in the middle of a heat wave and all I wanted to do was get our hvac/ac upband running again.

I'm strongly considering buying this, and keeping my relatively new (less than 1 year old) motor as an emegency backup. The fact that this motor runs quieter and has a slow ramp up speed (aside from the energy savings) seems like the perfect solution for me.

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