What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This critical element functions as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the flow of heated and cooled air, making sure your home stays comfortable during the whole year.
It's not necessary that you know 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 runs the fan that distributes air through your home and forces it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that have blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat detects the temperature falling out of the programmed comfort zone, the blower motor is alerted by your system. This turns on the fan, pushing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or right 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 depends on 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 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 system.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is positioned in 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 ideal 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 reached.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling requirements. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also provides more consistent indoor temperatures for greater comfort.
Signs of a Blower Motor Gone Bad
If your home [isn’t feeling|doesn’t feel|suddenly isn’t]129] as comfy as it usually does, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch 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 be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
- Odd noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing are often warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can indicate impending malfunction.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more power. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable spike in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can lead to a complete 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 places can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal elements and lead to electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s ability to run.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up components 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 early 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 lead to system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly manage the temperature, it might run constantly, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Defective wiring or other electrical issues can lead to sporadic motor operation or a complete breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a limited 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 critical 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 begin, please contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll evaluate the issue and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 540-302-8645!