When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This essential part of your HVAC serves as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable all year-round.
It's not necessary that you know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating smoothly. But, understanding a little 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 powers the fan that distributes air around the inside of your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds of HVAC systems that use blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat detects the temperature falling out of the programmed comfort zone, the blower motor springs into action. This turns on the fan, forcing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or right from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and to 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 placed in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer.
- A heat pump blower motor is located within the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is positioned in 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 select the correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, runs at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is reached.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient option for homeowners. It also offers more consistent indoor temperatures for greater comfort.
Signs of a Blower Motor Gone Bad
If your home [isn’t feeling|doesn’t feel|suddenly isn’t]129] as comfy as usual, your blower motor might be the culprit. Look for these warning signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, causing discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
- Odd noises: Abnormal sounds like grinding or squealing could be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can point to impending breakdown.
- Concerning aromas: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable spike in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can cause a total system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware and trigger electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging components of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail completely.
- 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 alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can create system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly control the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Defective wiring or other electrical issues can lead to sporadic motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a fixed working life. As they get up there in years, 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 of greater importance to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency response and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is giving you problems, or you want to prevent future problems before they begin, please contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll diagnose and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 954-736-4314!