When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This critical element serves as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the circulation of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable throughout the year.
You don’t need to know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. Still, 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 blows air around the inside of your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types 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 set 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 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 exact location varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly found in the base of the unit next to the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the warm months.
- A heat pump blower motor is located within the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- 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 correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, operates at one speed and shuts 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 demands. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient option 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 cozy as it usually does, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch out for these signs 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 mean total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Pardee 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 aggravating but can indicate impending malfunction.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more power. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable increase in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can cause a full system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware and lead to electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking components of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, leading to early 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 create system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly moderate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical problems can lead to intermittent motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical product, blower motors have a fixed life expectancy. As they age, materials within them wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Pardee Service Experts
At Pardee Service Experts, nothing is of greater importance 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 start, please contact Pardee Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 843-410-6103!