What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This critical element acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, ensuring your home stays comfortable all year-round.
You don’t need to know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. However, 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 runs the fan that circulates air throughout your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The varieties of HVAC systems that use blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat feels the temperature falling out of the programmed comfort zone, the blower motor is notified to do something about it. This turns on the fan, forcing 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 usually placed in the base of the unit next to the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the warm months.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is positioned inside the wall-mounted unit, often behind the air handler casing.
Types of Blower Motors
Understanding the two main styles of blower motors can help you find the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, runs at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, modifying the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also offers 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 usual, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch out for these indications 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 absence of airflow might mean total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
- Odd noises: Strange sounds like grinding or squealing could be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can point to impending breakdown.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more energy. 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 difficulty. This can trigger a full system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for numerous reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and cause electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s ability to run.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up components of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail completely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings reduce 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 issues can cause system inefficiencies and require professional 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: Faulty wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to sporadic motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a finite life span. 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 our staff 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 ward off future problems before they start, you can count on Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll evaluate the issue and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 407-329-7661!