What Is a Blower Motor?

When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This essential element serves as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the movement of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable all year-round.

You don’t need to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating smoothly. But, 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 runs the fan that circulates air through your home and forces 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 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 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 commonly located in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
  • An air conditioner typically shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer cooling season.
  • A heat pump blower motor is located in the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling system.
  • A ductless mini-split blower motor is located within 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 correct option for your home comfort needs.

  • A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, runs at one speed and shuts 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 demands. This is normally 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 as comfy as it usually does, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Watch out for these signals of a bad blower motor:

  • Weak or no airflow from vents: Limited airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, causing discomfort and inefficiency. A complete absence of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for swift evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
  • Odd noises: Abnormal sounds like grinding or squealing could be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only annoying but can signal impending breakdown.
  • Concerning odors: A burning smell could indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring prompt intervention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
  • Increased energy bills: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue utilizes more power. 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 problem. This can lead to a complete system breakdown if not addressed promptly.

What Causes Blower Motor Failure?

A blower motor can fail 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 significantly impact the motor’s ability to run.
  • Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt clogging parts 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, causing 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 troubles can lead to system inefficiencies and require professional repair.
  • Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t correctly control the temperature, it might run constantly, which can cause wear and tear and eventually failure.
  • Electrical challenges: Faulty wiring or other electrical problems can lead to irregular motor operation or a complete breakdown.
  • Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a limited working life. As they get older, elements wear out and failure becomes more likely.

Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, nothing is of greater importance to us than your comfort. We offer years of experience, emergency services and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If your blower motor is acting up, or you want to prevent future problems before they occur, you can count on Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ll diagnose and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment again. Schedule your appointment today by calling 866-397-3787!

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