When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you may read the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This crucial element acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the flow of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable all year-round.
It's not necessary that you understand every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating smoothly. Still, 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 circulates air through your home and pulls 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 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 actual location varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is normally found 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.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- 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 styles of blower motors can help you select the best option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, works at one speed and turns 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 requirements. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient choice for homeowners. It also offers 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 reason. Look for these signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Limited airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, causing discomfort and inefficiency. A complete absence of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts.
- Odd noises: Abnormal sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only aggravating but can signal impending failure.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue utilizes more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a significant surge in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen 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 break down for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware and trigger electrical shorts that can severely 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 entirely.
- 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: Problems with the resistor or fan can affect how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These troubles can result in system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively manage the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to irregular motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, 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 Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts
At Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts, nothing is more important to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency services 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 Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts. We’ll evaluate the issue and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 226-773-3357!