When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you might see the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This critical part of your HVAC serves 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 the time.
You don't have to know 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 operates the fan that blows air throughout your home and pulls 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 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 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 exact 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 near the air filter.
- An air conditioner generally shares the furnace’s blower motor to deliver cool air in the summer cooling season.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is found 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 best 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 achieved.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling demands. This is generally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also features 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 usual, your blower motor might be the culprit. Keep an eye 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 absence of airflow might suggest total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Comfortech Service Experts .
- Peculiar noises: Strange 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 failure.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
- Increased energy costs: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more energy. 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 trigger a complete system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can go bad for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal elements and cause electrical shorts that can gravely impact the motor’s ability to run.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up components of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail completely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, resulting in premature failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Problems with the resistor or fan can impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can result in system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively moderate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to intermittent motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a fixed working life. As they get older, materials within them wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Comfortech Service Experts
At Comfortech 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 giving you problems, or you want to prevent future problems before they begin, you can count on Comfortech Service Experts . We’ll evaluate the issue and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 601-852-3105!