When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you may run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This essential component acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the flow of heated and cooled air, ensuring your home stays comfortable during the whole year.
You don't have to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating smoothly. Still, understanding at least something about the blower motor simplifies operation and occasional troubleshooting.
What Does a Blower Motor Do?
The blower motor in a forced-air heating and cooling system operates the fan that distributes air around the inside of your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that utilize blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat feels the temperature falling out of the set comfort zone, the blower motor is alerted by your system. This turns on the fan, forcing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or straight from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and inside your living space.
Where Is the Blower Motor Found?
The blower motor’s specific location depends on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is normally found in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is found inside the wall-mounted unit, often behind the air handler casing.
Types of Blower Motors
Understanding the two main kinds of blower motors can help you choose the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, runs at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling requirements. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient option for homeowners. It also features more consistent indoor temperatures for enhanced comfort.
Signs of a Blower Motor Gone Bad
If your home [isn’t feeling|doesn’t feel|suddenly isn’t]129] as comfortable as it usually does, your blower motor might be the reason. Watch out for these indications of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Limited airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, causing discomfort and inefficiency. A complete absence of airflow might be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
- Peculiar noises: Abnormal sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only aggravating but can indicate impending malfunction.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more energy. This inefficiency can cause a significant surge in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can lead to a full system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and cause electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking pieces of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail altogether.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings reduce friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, leading to untimely failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can affect how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These troubles can cause system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly control the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical issues can lead to sporadic motor operation or a complete breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a fixed life expectancy. As they age, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, nothing is more critical to our team than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency repairs and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is acting up, or you want to prevent future problems before they start, please contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll evaluate the issue and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 866-397-3787!