What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This crucial part of your HVAC serves 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 throughout the year.
You don’t need to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running 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 operates the fan that disperses air throughout your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The varieties of HVAC systems that use blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat feels the temperature falling out of the programmed 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 actual location varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly found in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally 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 appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is found inside 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 ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, 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 desires. This is generally the quieter, more energy-efficient option 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 cozy as usual, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch out for these signals of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, causing discomfort and inefficiency. A complete lack of airflow might be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Stevenson Service Experts.
- Peculiar noises: Strange sounds like grinding or squealing are often warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only irritating but can signal impending breakdown.
- Concerning aromas: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more energy. This inefficiency can cause a marked spike in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can bring on a full system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
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 components and trigger electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s ability to run.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up pieces of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
- 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: Trouble with the resistor or fan can alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can create system inefficiencies and require professional repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly moderate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, 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 product, blower motors have a fixed life expectancy. As they get older, materials within them wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Stevenson Service Experts
At Stevenson Service Experts, nothing is more important to our team 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 ward off future problems before they begin, you can count on Stevenson Service Experts. 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 937-503-7896!