What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you may read the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This critical element acts as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, making sure your home stays comfortable throughout the year.
It's not necessary that you appreciate 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 through your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that have 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 alerted by your system. This turns on the fan, forcing 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 exact location can be in different places depending on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is usually found 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.
- A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the interior portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- A ductless mini-split blower motor is found in 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 ideal option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name suggests, runs at one speed and powers off when the desired temperature is attained.
- A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, modifying the speed to changes in heating and cooling requirements. 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 comfy as usual, your blower motor might be the reason. Keep an eye out for these signs of a bad blower motor:
- Weak or no airflow from vents: Limited airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, creating discomfort and inefficiency. A complete lack of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an skilled HVAC professional like the team at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air.
- Odd noises: Strange sounds like grinding or squealing are often warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only aggravating but can indicate impending failure.
- Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a major 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 electricity. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable surge in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical problem. This can bring on a complete system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can fail for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal hardware and trigger electrical shorts that can severely 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 completely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, leading to premature 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 issues can cause system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly moderate 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 problems can lead to sporadic motor operation or a complete breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a fixed working life. As they get older, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air
At Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air, nothing is more important to our team than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency services and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is having issues, or you want to avoid future problems before they begin, please contact Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air. We’ll identify and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 210-404-4233!