What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you might run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This essential element acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, making sure your home stays comfortable all the time.
You don't have to understand every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working 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 runs the fan that circulates air through 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 specific location depends on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly located in the base of the unit next to the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated in 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 best option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name indicates, works at one speed and powers off when the desired temperature is achieved.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, modifying the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. This is generally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also provides more consistent indoor temperatures for greater 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. Keep an eye out for these warning signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete absence of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Peitz Service Experts.
- Weird noises: Abnormal 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 indicate impending breakdown.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more power. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable increase in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can trigger a complete system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down 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 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 completely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, resulting in early failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Issues 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 professional repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly 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 equipment, blower motors have a finite life expectancy. As they get up there in years, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Peitz Service Experts
At Peitz Service Experts, nothing is of greater importance to our team 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 avoid future problems before they start, you can count on Peitz Service Experts. We’ll evaluate the issue and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 605-223-0307!