When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas1, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This critical element acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the circulation 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. 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 runs the fan that blows air throughout your home and forces it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The varieties of HVAC systems that have blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.
When your thermostat detects the temperature falling out of the ideal comfort zone, the blower motor is notified to do something about it. This turns on the fan, blowing 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 usually 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 circulate cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is located in 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 find the ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name implies, runs at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adjusting the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient option 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 comfortable as normal, your blower motor might be the culprit. Keep an eye out for these signals of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, causing discomfort and inefficiency. A complete lack of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Matz-Rightway.
- Weird noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only irritating but can indicate impending malfunction.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue burns more power. This inefficiency can cause a significant increase in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical problem. This can bring on a full system breakdown if not addressed promptly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and trigger electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging components 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, resulting in untimely failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Issues with the resistor or fan can impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These challenges can result in system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively control the temperature, it might run constantly, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to intermittent motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a limited working life. As they get up there in years, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Matz-Rightway
At Matz-Rightway, nothing is more critical to our team than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency response and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is acting up, or you want to prevent future problems before they begin, reach out to Matz-Rightway. We’ll diagnose and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 631-406-9220!