When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you possibly could see the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This essential part of your HVAC acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, ensuring your home stays comfortable all the time.
You don't have to know 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 powers the fan that distributes air through your home and forces 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 ideal 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 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 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 typically 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 indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- 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 types of blower motors can help you select the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, works at one speed and turns 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 choice for homeowners. It also features 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 comfortable 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: Insufficient airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an knowledgeable HVAC professional like the team at Gordon's Service Experts.
- Peculiar noises: Unusual 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 point to impending malfunction.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a significant issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a marked spike in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can trigger a complete system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and lead to electrical shorts that can significantly impact the motor’s ability to run.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up pieces 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, causing untimely failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can affect how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These troubles can lead to system inefficiencies and require Expert repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly 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 irregular motor operation or a full-blown 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 Gordon's Service Experts
At Gordon's Service Experts, nothing is of greater importance 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 avoid future problems before they begin, reach out to Gordon's Service Experts. We’ll identify and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 405-432-2197!