When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you may run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This essential part of your HVAC functions as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable all the time.
You don't have to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. However, 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 operates the fan that circulates air throughout your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds of HVAC systems that utilize 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, 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 normally located in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner most of the time shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the warm months.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside 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 kinds of blower motors can help you choose the correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, operates at one speed and shuts off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling requirements. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also offers more consistent indoor temperatures for improved 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. Watch out for these indications of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, causing discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Rob's Albertan Service Experts.
- Peculiar noises: Abnormal 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 signal impending malfunction.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue burns more power. This inefficiency can cause a significant surge in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can cause a total system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can go bad for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong places can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and lead to 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 altogether.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, resulting in premature failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These troubles can lead to system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively control 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 issues can lead to sporadic motor operation or a complete breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a fixed working life. As they get up there in years, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Rob's Albertan Service Experts
At Rob's Albertan Service Experts, nothing is more critical to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency repairs and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is giving you problems, or you want to ward off future problems before they begin, you can count on Rob's Albertan Service Experts. We’ll identify and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 780-800-9047!