ICM Controls' Soft Starter Saves Energy, Money, and Extends Motor Life

Residential and Commercial HVAC Units Benefit from Less Wear and Tear and Lower Power Consumption

ICM Controls Corporation President & Chief Executive Officer Joe Bonacci has advice for homeowners and businesses across the country in light of the sudden surge of broken heat records that are alarming scientists and taxing power grids: add a soft starter to your HVAC unit.

ICM Controls manufactures and sells the ICM870, a device called a "soft starter" that can be used with HVAC units, pool pumps, and other alternating current motors to temporarily reduce the startup current demand by as much as 70%, thereby reducing excessive electrical draw from the power source. The ICM870 can handle up to 6-ton home air conditioners or heat pumps.

With a soft starter, the initial current demand is lower, which helps reduce the amount of electricity required for starting. This makes the motor more efficient and lessens the burden on the power grid. Soft starters gradually ramp up the voltage applied to motor terminals, thereby limiting the inrush current and power, which significantly reduces heat buildup, causes less stress on components and less mechanical wear. Over time, this reduced wear and tear further contributes to energy savings.

"In many homes, when an air conditioner turns on, the lights flicker or dim due to a reduction of system voltage from the motor startup," explains Bonacci. "Installing the ICM870 solves the issue of flickering lights, reduces stress on the compressor, improves the stability of the power source, and ultimately saves you money."

Soft starters can extend motor lifetimes - particularly those that are stopped and started frequently. In fact, with a soft starter installed, you can turn a motor on and off much more frequently without worrying about damaging the system. If your motor application involves an intermittent load - turning on and off - users may be able to save money by installing a soft starter and shutting the motor down in between loads rather than leaving it running continuously.

Electric motors consume approximately one-quarter of electricity in the U.S. and are the main motive force in our homes, commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and appliances. Reducing energy consumption has become a top priority in the U.S. and rightfully so.

"Conserving energy is a global mission. At ICM, we're doing our part by prolonging the useable life of HVAC/R equipment, reducing electrical power consumption, and protecting against poor power transmission," adds Bonacci.

With experts warning that 2023 will likely be the earth's warmest year on record, consumers and businesses alike need to plan for longer, more frequent power outages this summer. Rolling brownouts and even blackouts are in the cards for anyone anywhere in the country. This puts heat-sensitive people and those with medical conditions at greater risk.

For homeowners with portable generators, installing the ICM870 also makes it possible to run your A/C or heat pump on a generator during power outages.

With the "dog days" of summer starting earlier, raging hotter, and lasting longer than ever before, protecting your HVAC investment with a soft starter like the ICM870 is critical to your own comfort and the long-term efficiency of your cooling system. Central New York residents can take pride in the fact that these industry-leading soft starters are made in North Syracuse.


About ICM Controls
ICM Controls is a leading Domestic, ISO Certified manufacturer of electronic controls for the HVAC-R market and other industrial applications. Backed by 40 years of design, engineering, and custom manufacturing expertise, ICM supports its network of suppliers, OEM and aftermarket distributors, and customers. Through its commitment to customer experience and vertical integration, ICM creates true partnerships.

ICM Controls is headquartered in North Syracuse, NY. For more information, visit ICMControls.com.

Source: ICM Controls