When troubleshooting HVAC problems, 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 all year-round.
You don’t need to know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working smoothly. Still, 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 powers the fan that blows air around the inside of your home and forces 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 senses 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 straight from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and inside your living space.
Where Is the Blower Motor Found?
The blower motor’s exact location depends on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is normally located 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 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 kinds of blower motors can help you select the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name indicates, operates at one speed and shuts 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 demands. This is generally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also provides 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 cozy as usual, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch 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 indicate total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Strand Brothers Service Experts.
- Peculiar noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can indicate impending breakdown.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that works 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 issue. This can cause a total system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal elements and cause electrical shorts that can severely 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, leading to premature failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can result in system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly moderate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical problems can lead to intermittent motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a fixed life expectancy. As they get up there in years, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Strand Brothers Service Experts
At Strand Brothers Service Experts, nothing is more critical to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency services and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is giving you problems, or you want to ward off future problems before they start, you can count on Strand Brothers Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 512-592-3072 !