When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This critical component acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, making sure your home stays comfortable all year-round.
It's not necessary that you appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. However, 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 operates the fan that circulates air throughout your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The varieties of HVAC systems that have blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat feels the temperature falling out of the ideal comfort zone, the blower motor is alerted by your system. 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 actual location varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is normally found in the base of the unit next to the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to deliver cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located within the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- 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 styles of blower motors can help you select the right 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 attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient choice 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 cozy as it usually does, your blower motor might be the culprit. Keep an eye 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, causing 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.
- Weird noises: Unusual 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 point to impending malfunction.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more energy. 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 problem. This can trigger a full system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can go bad for numerous reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong places can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal components and cause electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking parts of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
- 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: Problems with the resistor or fan can impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These troubles can create system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively moderate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical issues can lead to sporadic motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a fixed working life. 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 more important to our staff than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency response and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is acting up, or you want to prevent future problems before they occur, please contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll diagnose and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 901-235-1196!