When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you possibly could see the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This crucial element acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the circulation of heated and cooled air, making sure your home stays comfortable all year-round.
It's not necessary that you know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. But, 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 throughout your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that use blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat senses the temperature falling out of the set comfort zone, the blower motor is notified to do something about it. This turns on the fan, pushing 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 exact location can be in different places depending on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly located in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is located within the wall-mounted unit, often behind the air handler casing.
Types of Blower Motors
Understanding the two main types of blower motors can help you find the best option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, operates at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is achieved.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, modifying the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient option 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 comfortable as it usually does, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch out for these warning signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Limited airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
- Peculiar noises: Abnormal sounds like grinding or squealing are often warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only irritating but can point to impending malfunction.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable surge in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical problem. This can cause a complete system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can go bad for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong places can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal elements and trigger electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking parts of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings decrease friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, causing 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 lead to system inefficiencies and require professional repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly moderate the temperature, it could begin to run all the time, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical problems can lead to intermittent motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical product, blower motors have a finite life expectancy. As they get up there in years, parts 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 us 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 avoid future problems before they start, please contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll diagnose and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 303-647-5853!