What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you might read the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This critical element serves 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 throughout the year.
You don’t need to understand every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. Still, understanding a bit 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 circulates air through your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds of HVAC systems that utilize 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 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 actual location depends on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is normally placed in the base of the unit next to the air filter.
- An air conditioner most of the time shares the furnace’s blower motor to distribute cool air in the warm months.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is found inside 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, runs at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. This is usually 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 usual, your blower motor might be the reason. Watch out for these signals of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
- Weird noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing could be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only irritating but can indicate impending failure.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue burns more power. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable surge in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can lead to a complete system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal elements and lead to electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking pieces 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, resulting in early failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Issues with the resistor or fan can alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can lead to system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly regulate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Defective wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to intermittent motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a limited life span. As they age, 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 critical to our team than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency repairs and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is giving you problems, or you want to prevent future problems before they occur, reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll diagnose and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 561-629-1826!