When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you possibly could read the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This essential part of your HVAC functions as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the circulation of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable all year-round.
You don't have to know 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 powers the fan that disperses air around the inside of your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that utilize blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat senses the temperature falling out of the programmed 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 specific location depends on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly placed in the base of the unit near 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 inside the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- 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 types of blower motors can help you find the correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, runs 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 requirements. This is usually 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 reason. Keep an eye 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 mean total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Falso 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 aggravating but can signal impending breakdown.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue burns more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable increase in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical problem. This can bring on a full system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for numerous reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and trigger 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 minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, leading to untimely failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Issues with the resistor or fan can impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These challenges can cause 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: Faulty wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to sporadic motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a limited life expectancy. As they get up there in years, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Falso Service Experts
At Falso Service Experts, nothing is more important to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency response and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is having issues, or you want to ward off future problems before they start, reach out to Falso Service Experts. We’ll identify and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 315-313-6531!