What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This critical part of your HVAC acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the circulation of heated and cooled air, making sure your home stays comfortable throughout the year.
It's not necessary that you understand every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating 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 powers the fan that disperses air around the inside of your home and forces 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 senses the temperature falling out of the set comfort zone, the blower motor is alerted by your system. This turns on the fan, forcing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or right from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and to 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 commonly located in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to deliver 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 situated 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 select the right 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 achieved.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, modifying the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. 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 indications of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, creating discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Becht/Givens Service Experts.
- Odd noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only aggravating but can signal impending malfunction.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring fast 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 uses more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable surge in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can cause a complete system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and trigger electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s ability to run.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up parts of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings decrease friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, leading to premature failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can influence how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can lead to system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively manage the temperature, it could begin to run all the time, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to irregular motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a finite life span. As they get up there in years, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Becht/Givens Service Experts
At Becht/Givens Service Experts, nothing is more important to our staff 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 prevent future problems before they occur, you can count on Becht/Givens Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 502-785-8230!