What Is a Blower Motor?

When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This crucial part of your HVAC acts 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 know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working smoothly. However, 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 operates the fan that blows air around the inside of your home and pulls 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 detects the temperature falling out of the set comfort zone, the blower motor springs into action. 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 to 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 near the air filter.
  • An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to deliver cool air in the warm months.
  • A heat pump blower motor is located within the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
  • A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated inside 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 right option for your home comfort needs.

  • A single-speed motor, as the name indicates, runs at one speed and turns 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 desires. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative 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 as cozy as usual, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Keep an eye out for these warning signs 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 absence of airflow might mean total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
  • Peculiar noises: Strange sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only irritating but can signal impending malfunction.
  • Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring fast 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 utilizes more power. 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 issue. This can cause 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 areas can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware and trigger electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s operation.
  • Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up pieces 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, causing 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 troubles can create system inefficiencies and require professional repair.
  • Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively regulate the temperature, it might run continuously, which can cause wear and tear and eventually failure.
  • Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical problems can lead to irregular motor operation or a total breakdown.
  • Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a limited life span. 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 important to our team 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 prevent 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. Schedule your appointment today by calling 866-397-3787!

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