When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This essential 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, ensuring your home stays comfortable throughout the year.
It's not necessary that you appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working 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 operates the fan that blows air through your home and forces it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The varieties of HVAC systems that utilize blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat feels the temperature falling out of the set comfort zone, the blower motor springs into action. This turns on the fan, blowing 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 varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is usually found in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated 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 find the correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name indicates, 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 desires. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient choice for homeowners. It also features 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 comfortable as it usually does, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch out for these indications of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Insufficient airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete absence of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Finch Air Conditioning & Heating.
- 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 signal impending failure.
- Concerning aromas: 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 has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue utilizes more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a significant surge in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can bring on a total system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for numerous reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong places can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal components and lead to electrical shorts that can severely impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging parts of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail completely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, resulting in 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 challenges can create system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly moderate the temperature, it could begin to run all the time, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical issues can lead to irregular motor operation or a complete breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a finite life expectancy. As they age, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Finch Air Conditioning & Heating
At Finch Air Conditioning & Heating, 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 acting up, or you want to ward off future problems before they begin, please contact Finch Air Conditioning & Heating. We’ll diagnose and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 281-407-9478!