What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you may read the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This crucial part of your HVAC acts 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.
You don't have to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. However, 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 runs the fan that disperses air throughout your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The varieties of HVAC systems that use blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat feels the temperature falling out of the ideal comfort zone, the blower motor is notified to do something about it. 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 usually located in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to deliver cool air in the summer.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is positioned 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 correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name implies, operates at one speed and shuts off when the desired temperature is achieved.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adjusting the speed to changes in heating and cooling requirements. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also provides more consistent indoor temperatures for improved comfort.
Signs of a Blower Motor Gone Bad
If your home [isn’t feeling|doesn’t feel|suddenly isn’t]129] as comfy as normal, 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 lack of airflow might mean total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
- Odd noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing are often warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can signal impending malfunction.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more power. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable surge in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can lead to a total system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can go bad for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal elements and trigger electrical shorts that can severely 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 minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, causing premature failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can influence how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can lead to system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly regulate the temperature, it might run constantly, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Defective wiring or other electrical problems can lead to irregular motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical product, blower motors have a limited life expectancy. As they get older, materials within them 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 important to our staff than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency services and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is having issues, or you want to ward off future problems before they begin, reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll diagnose and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 239-908-6991!