What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you might read the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This crucial component 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.
It's not necessary that you appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working smoothly. But, understanding at least something 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 throughout your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types 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, 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 usually placed 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 within the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is positioned 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 select the correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name implies, works at one speed and powers off when the desired temperature is reached.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adjusting the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is generally the quieter, more energy-efficient choice for homeowners. It also provides more consistent indoor temperatures for greater comfort.
Signs of a Blower Motor Gone Bad
If your home [isn’t feeling|doesn’t feel|suddenly isn’t]129] as comfy as normal, your blower motor might be the culprit. Look for these signals of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Insufficient airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, creating discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
- Odd noises: Unusual 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 indicate impending failure.
- Concerning aromas: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a significant increase in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical problem. This can cause a complete system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
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 elements and trigger electrical shorts that can severely impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking 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, leading to untimely failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can influence how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These troubles can create system inefficiencies and require professional repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly manage the temperature, it might run constantly, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to irregular motor operation or a complete breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a finite life span. As they get older, 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 of greater importance to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency repairs and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is having issues, or you want to avoid future problems before they start, you can count on Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll evaluate the issue and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 303-647-5749!