What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This crucial part of your HVAC functions as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the flow of heated and cooled air, making sure your home stays comfortable during the whole year.
You don’t need to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running 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 runs the fan that disperses air around the inside of your home and draws 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 detects 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 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 varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is usually placed in the base of the unit next to the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to distribute cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- 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 kinds of blower motors can help you choose the correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, works 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 desires. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient option for homeowners. It also features more consistent indoor temperatures for improved comfort.
Signs of a Blower Motor Gone Bad
If your home suddenly isn’t as cozy as usual, your blower motor might be the culprit. Keep an eye 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 be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
- Weird noises: Strange sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can point to impending malfunction.
- Concerning aromas: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable increase in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can trigger a complete 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 result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal components and trigger electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up pieces of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail altogether.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings decrease friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, resulting in 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 challenges can create system inefficiencies and require Expert 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: Bad wiring or other electrical issues can lead to sporadic motor operation or a complete breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a limited life expectancy. As they get older, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, nothing is more critical to our team 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 ward off future problems before they occur, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ll identify and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 866-397-3787!
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