When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This essential part of your HVAC serves 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 during the whole year.
It's not necessary that you understand every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. But, 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 blows air around the inside of 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 feels the temperature falling out of the programmed comfort zone, the blower motor is notified to do something about it. 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 actual location depends on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly placed in the base of the unit next to 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 in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is found within the wall-mounted unit, often behind the air handler casing.
Types of Blower Motors
Understanding the two main kinds of blower motors can help you choose the right option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name implies, operates at one speed and shuts off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adjusting the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also provides 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 it usually does, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch out for these signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, creating discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might mean total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Jack Nelson Service Experts.
- Peculiar noises: Abnormal 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 malfunction.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a marked increase 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 full system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware and lead to electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s ability to run.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up 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: Problems with the resistor or fan can influence how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These challenges can result in system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly 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 equipment, blower motors have a fixed life expectancy. As they get older, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Jack Nelson Service Experts
At Jack Nelson Service Experts, nothing is of greater importance to our staff than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency response and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is acting up, or you want to ward off future problems before they begin, you can count on Jack Nelson Service Experts. We’ll evaluate the issue and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 918-212-8927!