What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you may see the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This critical element acts 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 the time.
You don't have to know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating smoothly. But, 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 powers the fan that circulates air around the inside of your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds 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 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 close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner most of the time shares the furnace’s blower motor to distribute cool air in the summer.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated inside 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 choose the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, runs 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 desires. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also features 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 comfortable as usual, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Keep an eye out for these signals of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Insufficient 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 prompt evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Levy & Son Service Experts.
- Odd noises: Strange 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 breakdown.
- Concerning aromas: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue burns more energy. This inefficiency can cause a significant spike in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can lead to a complete system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for numerous reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware 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, resulting in premature 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 troubles can cause system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively moderate the temperature, it could begin to run all the time, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical problems can lead to sporadic motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical product, 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 Levy & Son Service Experts
At Levy & Son Service Experts, nothing is more critical to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency response and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is having issues, or you want to ward off future problems before they occur, you can count on Levy & Son Service Experts. We’ll identify and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 469-250-0932!