When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This crucial element functions 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 all year-round.
It's not necessary that you know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. However, understanding at least something 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 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 springs into action. This turns on the fan, blowing 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 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 cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is located inside 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 choose the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name implies, 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 demands. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient choice for homeowners. It also provides 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 it usually does, your blower motor might be the reason. Watch out for these signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Insufficient airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, causing discomfort and inefficiency. A complete lack of airflow might be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at R & M Climate Control Service Experts.
- Weird 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 point to impending failure.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell may 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 consumes more power. This inefficiency can cause a significant spike in your utility bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical issue. This can bring on a total system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
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 gravely impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging 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 early failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Problems with the resistor or fan can influence how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can create system inefficiencies and require professional repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly control the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical problems can lead to irregular motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a finite working life. As they age, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from R & M Climate Control Service Experts
At R & M Climate Control Service Experts, nothing is more important to our team than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency response and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is giving you problems, or you want to ward off future problems before they start, reach out to R & M Climate Control Service Experts. We’ll diagnose and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 865-229-6176!