What Is a Blower Motor?
When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you possibly could see the term “blower motor” and wonder how that fits into your system. This critical part of your HVAC acts 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 the time.
You don't have to know every detail of your HVAC system to keep it operating smoothly. Still, 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 runs the fan that blows air around the inside of your home and draws it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The types of HVAC systems that use 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 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 varies according to the type of system:
- A furnace blower motor is usually located in the base of the unit near the air filter.
- An air conditioner most of the time 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 in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
- 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 kinds of blower motors can help you find the best option for your home comfort needs.
- A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, works 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 usually the quieter, more energy-efficient choice for homeowners. It also offers 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 warning 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 loss of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for prompt evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at San Antonio Air Service Experts.
- Odd noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing could be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only irritating but can point to impending failure.
- Concerning smells: A burning smell might indicate an overheating motor, a major issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Increased energy bills: A blower motor that works harder than necessary because of an underlying issue consumes more electricity. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable spike in your energy bills.
- HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can take place when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical problem. This can trigger a full system breakdown if not addressed quickly.
What Causes Blower Motor Failure?
A blower motor can break down for many reasons, including:
- Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong spots can be a big problem for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal elements and lead to electrical shorts that can severely impact the motor’s operation.
- Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt blocking pieces of the motor can cause it to overheat or fail entirely.
- Worn-out bearings: Bearings reduce friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, causing untimely failure.
- Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Trouble with the resistor or fan can alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can result in system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
- Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t effectively control the temperature, it might run constantly, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
- Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical malfunctions can lead to irregular motor operation or a total breakdown.
- Old age: Like any mechanical product, blower motors have a limited life expectancy. As they get up there in years, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.
Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from San Antonio Air Service Experts
At San Antonio Air Service Experts, 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 giving you problems, or you want to ward off future problems before they begin, you can count on San Antonio Air Service Experts. We’ll identify and fix the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 210-570-9705!