When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you may run across the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This essential element acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the flow of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable during the whole year.
You don't have to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working 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 disperses air through your home and forces 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 senses the temperature falling out of the programmed comfort zone, the blower motor springs into action. This turns on the fan, blowing 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 actual location varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly located in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner most of the time shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is located 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 find the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name implies, works at one speed and shuts off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adjusting the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is normally 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 it usually does, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Watch out for these warning signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Insufficient airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss 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.
- Peculiar noises: Unusual 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 getting worse.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue burns more power. This inefficiency can cause a significant spike in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can trigger a full system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong places can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and cause electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging parts of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail completely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings decrease friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, causing early failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Problems with the resistor or fan can impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These challenges can create system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly control 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 sporadic motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a limited life expectancy. As they age, 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 critical to our team 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 evaluate the issue and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 321-428-7635!