When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This essential component functions 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 all the time.
It's not necessary that you know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating 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 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 utilize blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat senses the temperature falling out of the ideal 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 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 exact location can be in different places depending on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly found in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner most of the time shares the furnace’s blower motor to deliver cool air in the summer.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated 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 choose the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name indicates, runs at one speed and powers off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, modifying the speed to changes in heating and cooling requirements. 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 comfy as usual, your blower motor might be the culprit. Keep an eye out for these indications of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Limited airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, creating discomfort and inefficiency. A complete lack of airflow might mean total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Golden Seal Service Experts.
- Weird noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing could be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only irritating but can point to impending breakdown.
- Concerning aromas: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue utilizes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a significant spike in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can lead to a complete system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can go bad for many 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 operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking 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, resulting in untimely 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 challenges can result in system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively regulate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical issues can lead to irregular motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a finite working life. As they get older, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Golden Seal Service Experts
At Golden Seal 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 avoid future problems before they begin, reach out to Golden Seal Service Experts. We’ll evaluate the issue and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 630-246-2698!