When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you possibly could see the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This crucial component serves 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 year-round.
You don’t need to know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating smoothly. Still, 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 operates the fan that distributes air through 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 senses the temperature falling out of the programmed comfort zone, the blower motor is alerted by your system. This turns on the fan, pushing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or straight from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and inside your living space.
Where Is the Blower Motor Found?
The blower motor’s specific location can be in different places depending on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is normally located in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to deliver cool air in the summer.
- 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 positioned within 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 best option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, works at one speed and shuts off when the desired temperature is reached.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, modifying the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative 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. Watch out for these signals 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 be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at A-PLUS Service Experts.
- Peculiar noises: Strange 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 breakdown.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue utilizes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a marked increase in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can lead to a complete system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong places can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal components and trigger electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging 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 alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can create system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly moderate the temperature, it might run constantly, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical problems can lead to sporadic motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a limited life expectancy. As they age, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from A-PLUS Service Experts
At A-PLUS Service Experts, nothing is more important 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 avoid future problems before they occur, reach out to A-PLUS Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 301-747-3140!