What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you might run across the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This crucial element serves as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the circulation of heated and cooled air, ensuring your home stays comfortable all year-round.
You don’t need to know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running 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 around the inside of your home and forces 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 detects the temperature falling out of the ideal 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 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 usually placed in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner most of the time shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located within the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is located 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 select the right option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, runs at one speed and turns 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 requirements. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also offers 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 cozy as it usually does, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Watch out for these warning signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Insufficient airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, creating discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Coastal 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 annoying but can indicate impending malfunction.
- Concerning aromas: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more power. This inefficiency can cause a significant increase in your utility 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 promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong places can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal components and trigger electrical shorts that can severely impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging pieces of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail altogether.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings reduce friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, causing 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 lead to system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly moderate the temperature, it could begin to run all the time, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Defective wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to intermittent motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical product, blower motors have a limited working life. As they get up there in years, materials within them wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Coastal Service Experts
At Coastal Service Experts, nothing is of greater importance to us 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 prevent future problems before they occur, please contact Coastal Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 912-208-2399!