What Is a Blower Motor?

When troubleshooting HVAC dilemmas, you might run across the term “blower motor” and wonder what that means. This crucial component 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 throughout the year.

You don’t need to appreciate every detail of your HVAC system to keep it working smoothly. Still, understanding a little 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 operates the fan that distributes air around the inside of your home and forces it back into the HVAC for reheating or cooling. The kinds of HVAC systems that have blower motors include furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and ductless mini-splits.

When your thermostat senses the temperature falling out of the ideal comfort zone, the blower motor springs into action. This turns on the fan, forcing hot or cold air out of the unit, through the ductwork—or right 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 close to the air filter.
    • An air conditioner most of the time shares the furnace’s blower motor to circulate cool air in the summer.
    • A heat pump blower motor is located inside the air handler, the indoor portion of this single-unit heating and cooling device.
    • A ductless mini-split blower motor is positioned in 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 correct option for your home comfort needs.

    • A single-speed motor, as the name indicates, works at one speed and shuts 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 generally 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 suddenly isn’t as comfortable as it usually does, your blower motor might be the culprit. Watch out for these signals of a bad blower motor:

    • Weak or no airflow from vents: Weak airflow makes your home heat or cool more slowly, creating discomfort and inefficiency. A complete lack of airflow might be a sign of total motor failure, which calls for immediate evaluation from an seasoned HVAC professional like the team at Winnipeg Supply Service Experts.
    • Weird noises: Unusual sounds like grinding or squealing may be warning signs of worn-out bearings or a misaligned motor. These noises are not only irritating but can signal impending breakdown.
    • Concerning aromas: A burning smell may indicate an overheating motor, a serious issue requiring fast intervention to prevent the problem from worsening.
    • Increased energy expenses: A blower motor that has to operate harder than necessary because of an underlying issue uses more power. This inefficiency can cause a significant spike in your electric bills.
    • HVAC unit overheating: Overheating can happen when the motor struggles due to friction or a mechanical difficulty. This can trigger a full system breakdown if not addressed quickly.

What Causes Blower Motor Failure?

A blower motor can break down for numerous reasons, including:

    • Moisture buildup: Water in the wrong areas can spell trouble for your blower motor. Moisture can corrode metal parts and cause electrical shorts that can severely impact the motor’s ability to run.
    • Debris accumulation: Dust and dirt plugging up components 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, resulting in untimely failure.
    • Blower motor resistor or fan concerns: Issues with the resistor or fan can alter how the motor responds to demands for more or less air. These issues can lead to system inefficiencies and require skilled repair.
    • Temperature control problems: If the motor can’t properly regulate the temperature, it might run all the time, which can cause wear and tear and eventually failure.
    • Electrical challenges: Bad wiring or other electrical problems can lead to intermittent motor operation or a total breakdown.
    • Old age: Like any mechanical equipment, blower motors have a finite working life. As they get up there in years, parts wear out and failure becomes more likely.

Get Help Troubleshooting Blower Motor Problems from Winnipeg Supply Service Experts

At Winnipeg Supply Service Experts, 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 giving you problems, or you want to ward off future problems before they start, you can count on Winnipeg Supply 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 204-800-0613!

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