Chances are, the HVAC system in your house uses a single-speed induction motor to power its fan, and the Department of Energy (DOE) wants to change that. The nation’s energy watchdog wants to replace these inefficient motors that cycle on and off at full speed with variable-speed (VS) motors and has awarded a $200,000 grant to DynaMotors to explore the concept.

The Cleveland-based company has developed a VS motor that the DOE thinks could meet its goal of bringing to market a product inexpensive enough to replace today’s single-speed motors and reduce national electric energy consumption and the related air pollution.

VS motors are currently used in only 5% of the 8 million new residential HVAC systems installed each year because current models are substantially more expensive than their single-speed counterparts. The DOE claims the DynaMotors model could reduce the price by 40% to 50% and expects the technology could be introduced to the public by 2005.