What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you might read the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This critical element functions as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable during the whole year.
You don't have to understand every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating smoothly. However, 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 runs the fan that disperses air around the inside of your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds 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, pushing 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 placed in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to distribute cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located within the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated 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 select the right option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name implies, operates 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 desires. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also offers 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 comfy as normal, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Keep an eye out for these signals 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 lack of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Neal Harris Service Experts.
- Weird noises: Unusual 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 signal impending failure.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more power. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable surge in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical problem. This can trigger a complete 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 be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and lead to 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 altogether.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings decrease friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, leading to early failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Problems with the resistor or fan can alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These challenges can lead to system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly regulate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical problems can lead to intermittent motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a fixed life expectancy. As they get up there in years, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Neal Harris Service Experts
At Neal Harris Service Experts, nothing is more important to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency repairs and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is giving you problems, or you want to avoid future problems before they begin, please contact Neal Harris Service Experts. We’ll identify and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 816-787-0500!