What Is a Blower Motor?

When troubleshooting HVAC issues, you possibly could run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what it means. This critical component functions as the lungs of your heating and cooling system. The blower motor powers the flow of heated and cooled air, so that your home stays comfortable during the whole year.

You don’t need to know 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 disperses air throughout your home and pulls it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The varieties 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 notified to do something about it. 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 into 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 normally placed 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 within the air handler, the in-house portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
  • A ductless mini-split blower motor is situated inside 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 find the right option for your home comfort needs.

  • A single-speed motor, as the name reveals, works at one speed and powers off when the desired temperature is reached.
  • A variable-speed motor operates at a range of speeds, adapting the speed to changes in heating and cooling desires. This is normally the quieter, more energy-efficient alternative for homeowners. It also provides 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 comfy as it usually does, your blower motor might be the reason. Watch out for these 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 absence of airflow might indicate total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at BW/Cook Service Experts.
  • Peculiar noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing could be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only aggravating but can point to impending breakdown.
  • Concerning smells: 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 uses more power. This inefficiency can cause a noticeable increase in your utility bills.
  • HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can trigger a complete system breakdown if not addressed promptly.

What Causes Blower Motor Failure?

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

  • Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can result in catastrophe 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 completely.
  • Worn-out bearings: Bearings minimize friction in the motor. When they wear out, they overwork the motor, resulting in untimely failure.
  • Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Problems with the resistor or fan can impact how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These challenges can result in system inefficiencies and require immediate repair.
  • Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly moderate the temperature, it may instead run continuously, which can cause wear and tear, and eventually failure.
  • Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical issues can lead to intermittent motor operation or a total breakdown.
  • Old age: Like any mechanical product, blower motors have a fixed life span. As they get older, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.

Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from BW/Cook Service Experts

At BW/Cook Service Experts, nothing is more important to us 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 prevent future problems before they occur, please contact BW/Cook Service Experts. We’ll identify and solve the problem so you can enjoy a comfortable home environment all year. Schedule your appointment today by calling 574-218-6404!

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