What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This crucial component 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 year-round.
It's not necessary that you appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. But, 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 powers the fan that circulates air throughout your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The varieties 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 programmed comfort zone, the blower motor is alerted by your system. This turns on the fan, blowing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or straight from the air handler in the case of a ductless system—and inside your living space.
Where Is the Blower Motor Found?
The blower motor’s exact location depends on the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is commonly located in the base of the unit next to the air filter.
- An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to distribute cool air in the warm months.
- A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the indoor 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 styles of blower motors can help you select the right option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name indicates, runs at one speed and shuts off when the desired temperature is reached.
- 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 choice for homeowners. It also features more consistent indoor temperatures for improved 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 perpetrator. Keep an eye out for these warning signs 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 loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Church Services.
- Peculiar noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can indicate impending failure.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a marked increase in your electric bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can trigger a total system breakdown if not addressed in a timely manner.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for several reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can result in catastrophe for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts 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 altogether.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings decrease friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, leading to premature failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These troubles can result in system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly manage 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 sporadic motor operation or a full-blown breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical product, 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 Church Services
At Church Services, nothing is of greater importance to us 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 avoid future problems before they begin, reach out to Church Services. We’ll evaluate the issue and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 713-396-3760!