What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you may read the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This crucial component acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the flow of heated and cooled air, ensuring your home stays comfortable all year-round.
You don’t need to know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working smoothly. But, 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 powers the fan that blows air around the inside of your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds 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 set comfort zone, the blower motor springs into action. 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 placed in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to deliver cool air in the warm months.
- A heat pump blower motor is located within the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated inside the wall-mounted unit, often behind the air handler casing.
Types of Blower Motors
Understanding the two main types of blower motors can help you select the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, runs at one speed and shuts 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 demands. This is generally 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 usual, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Watch out for these signs 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 loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Robinson Service Experts .
- Peculiar noises: Abnormal 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 signal impending malfunction.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue burns more power. This inefficiency can cause a significant increase in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can lead to a full system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can go bad for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal components and trigger electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking parts of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail completely.
- 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 cause system inefficiencies and require immediate 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: Bad wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to sporadic motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a fixed life expectancy. As they get older, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Robinson Service Experts
At Robinson Service Experts , nothing is more critical to our staff 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 avoid future problems before they begin, please contact Robinson Service Experts . We’ll diagnose and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 847-306-8730!