When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you may run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This essential component 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 throughout the year.
You don't have to appreciate 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 operates the fan that blows air around the inside of your home and forces it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds 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 springs into action. This turns on the fan, blowing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or right from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and to 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 usually located 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 in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- 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 find the best option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, operates at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is achieved.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is normally 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 comfortable as usual, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Look for these signals 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 absence of airflow might be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Rolf Griffin Service Experts .
- Odd noises: Strange sounds like grinding or squealing are often 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 major issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue utilizes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable spike in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical problem. This can cause 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 be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal components and trigger electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging 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 untimely 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 result in system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly manage 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 sporadic motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a limited life span. As they get up there in years, materials within them wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Rolf Griffin Service Experts
At Rolf Griffin 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 having issues, or you want to prevent future problems before they occur, please contact Rolf Griffin 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 260-557-1275!