HVAC Glossary

ECM Furnace Motors – Electronically Commutated Motors can operate over a range of speeds. They can be signalled to ramp up their speed slowly, and vary their speed to match changing requirements. They typically offer a 65 to 75 percent efficiency, depending on output.

PSC Furnace Motors – Permanent Split-Capacitor motors are single-speed motors that run either on or off. They are simpler than variable speed ECM motors, but not as efficient since they draw much more current when starting and can not adjust to changing requirements. PSC motors operate at about 45 percent efficiency.

Single-Stage Furnace – A single-stage furnace operates at a single, full-on capacity. While they’re easier to install than a two-stage furnace, they use more fuel and produce uneven heating; your home may be either too hot or too cold. They also tend to be louder than two-stage furnaces.

Two-Stage Furnace – A two-stage furnace costs more to install than a single-stage furnace, but uses less fuel, offers more even heating of your home, and is quieter to operate.

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