When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This essential 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 during the whole year.
It's not necessary that you know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working 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 disperses air throughout your home and forces it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that utilize blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat detects the temperature falling out of the set comfort zone, the blower motor is notified to do something about it. 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 actual location can be in different places depending on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is normally placed in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- 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 choose the best option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name implies, operates at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is reached.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adjusting the speed to changes in heating and cooling requirements. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient choice 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. Look for these warning signs 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 loss of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Parker Pearce Service Experts.
- Odd noises: Abnormal sounds like grinding or squealing are often warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can signal impending breakdown.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more power. This inefficiency can cause a marked increase in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can lead to a total system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
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 elements and cause electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking parts of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings reduce friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, leading to premature 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 challenges can create system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly regulate the temperature, it might run constantly, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical issues can lead to intermittent motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a finite working life. As they get older, materials within them wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Parker Pearce Service Experts
At Parker Pearce Service Experts, nothing is more important to our team than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency services and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is giving you problems, or you want to ward off future problems before they occur, reach out to Parker Pearce Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 301-476-4577!