When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This critical component acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, ensuring your home stays comfortable all the time.
You don’t need to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating 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 operates the fan that circulates air through your home and forces it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds of HVAC systems that have blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat senses the temperature falling out of the ideal 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 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 exact location varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly located in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner most of the time shares the furnace’s blower motor to distribute cool air in the summer.
- 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 located 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 find the best 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, adjusting the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is usually 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|doesn’t feel|suddenly isn’t]129] as cozy as usual, your blower motor might be the culprit. Keep an eye out for these signals of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Limited airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete lack of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Teays Valley Service Experts.
- Odd noises: Strange sounds like grinding or squealing could be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can point to impending failure.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue utilizes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable spike in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can cause a full system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware and cause electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging parts of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail altogether.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, resulting in untimely failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Problems with the resistor or fan can influence how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can create system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly manage the temperature, it could begin to run all the time, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Defective wiring or other electrical problems can lead to intermittent motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a fixed working life. As they get up there in years, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Teays Valley Service Experts
At Teays Valley Service Experts, nothing is more critical 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 prevent future problems before they begin, reach out to Teays Valley Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 304-760-5088!