When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you might run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This essential element acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the circulation of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable throughout the year.
You don't have to understand every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. Still, 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 operates the fan that disperses air through your home and forces it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that have blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat senses the temperature falling out of the programmed comfort zone, the blower motor springs into action. This turns on the fan, pushing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or directly from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and into 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 next 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 in the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated 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 right option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, runs at one speed and shuts 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 requirements. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient option for homeowners. It also provides 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 normal, your blower motor might be the reason. Look for these signals 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 loss of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Epperson Service Experts.
- 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 aggravating but can point to impending breakdown.
- Concerning aromas: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a significant surge in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur 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 numerous reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and trigger electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging components of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
- 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 impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These troubles can create system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly regulate the temperature, it could begin to run all the time, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty 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 finite life expectancy. As they get older, materials within them wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Epperson Service Experts
At Epperson Service Experts, 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 acting up, or you want to avoid future problems before they begin, please contact Epperson Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 843-619-3781!