When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you may run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what it 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 understand every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working 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 runs the fan that distributes air around the inside of 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 feels the temperature falling out of the set 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 varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly found in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located within the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- 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 types of blower motors can help you find the correct option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, operates at one speed and turns off when the desired temperature is reached.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, modifying the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. This is usually the quieter, more energy-efficient choice for homeowners. It also offers 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 cozy 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: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, creating discomfort and inefficiency. A complete loss of airflow might be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Peachtree Service Experts.
- Odd noises: Abnormal sounds like grinding or squealing are often warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can signal impending breakdown.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a significant spike in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can lead to a full system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can go bad 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 cause electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s performance.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging parts 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, leading to untimely failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Issues 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 regulate 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 issues can lead to intermittent motor operation or a complete breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a finite life span. As they get older, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Peachtree Service Experts
At Peachtree Service Experts, nothing is more critical 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 ward off future problems before they begin, reach out to Peachtree Service Experts. We’ll identify and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year long. Schedule your appointment today by calling 678-235-9699!