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What Is a Blower Motor?

When troubleshooting HVAC problems, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This critical component functions 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.

You don’t need to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it running smoothly. Still, 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 blows air through your home and pulls 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 is alerted by your system. This turns on the fan, forcing 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 specific location depends on the type of system:

  • A furnace blower motor is commonly found in the base of the unit close to the air filter.
  • An air conditioner most of the time 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 in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling appliance.
  • 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 select the ideal option for your home comfort needs.

  • A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, operates 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 desires. 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 doesn’t feel as comfortable as it usually does, your blower motor might be the perpetrator. Watch out for these indications of a bad blower motor:

  • Weak or no airflow from vents: Insufficient airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, leading to discomfort and inefficiency. A complete lack of airflow might be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an experienced HVAC professional like the team at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
  • Odd noises: Unusual 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 signal impending failure.
  • Concerning aromas: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring timely intervention to prevent the problem from intensifying.
  • Increased energy bills: A blower motor that runs harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more energy. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable spike in your electric bills.
  • HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can occur when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can lead to a total system breakdown if not addressed promptly.

What Causes Blower Motor Failure?

A blower motor can go bad for several reasons, including:

  • Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong places can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal elements and cause electrical shorts that can severely impact the motor’s performance.
  • Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking components of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
  • Worn-out bearings: Bearings decrease friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, causing untimely failure.
  • Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Problems with the resistor or fan can alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These challenges can create system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
  • Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively regulate the temperature, it could begin to run continuously, which can cause wear and tear and eventually failure.
  • Electrical challenges: Defective wiring or other electrical issues can lead to sporadic motor operation or a complete breakdown.
  • Old age: Like any mechanical device, blower motors have a limited working life. As they age, 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 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 ward off future problems before they start, you can count on Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ll identify and mend the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 866-397-3787!

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