Our HVAC systems are a complex network of vents, pipes, and temperature regulating components. When something is amiss, it can be a stressful journey to discovering what the issue might be. A common problem many homeowners might encounter is a bad blower motor.
But what exactly is this component and how can you tell if it’s the source of your issue? We’ll tell you below!
The blower motor is tasked with moving the conditioned air throughout your home. It pushes it through the vents using a fan. When air is heated or cooled, the fan and blower motor circulate it throughout your home to keep it at your desired temperature.
There are two types of blower motors:
The single-speed blower motor works at one speed to push air through the home. It turns on and off according to the setting on the thermostat. There is no option to change the rate at which the air is distributed.
The variable-speed blower motor can operate at a number of different speeds. It can better regulate the temperature in a home as it will adjust to keep the temperature at the desired temp. This type of blower motor is typically more energy-efficient and easy to operate.
While there are many problems that can crop up with your HVAC system, an issue with the blower motor can be easy to diagnose. Look for these key indicators that you have a bad blower motor.
One of the first signs you may notice when there’s an issue with the blower motor is a strange noise coming from the indoor unit or air handler. Different noises will indicate different problems. For instance, a rattling could point to loose or broken parts while a screeching could mean it’s time to replace the motor belt.
Since a blower motor’s whole job is to force air through your vents, a key sign it might be broken is if little to no airflow is coming from your vents. This issue might just as well be caused by a dirty air filter or closed vent but if you don’t notice any issues like that, you might want to investigate the blower motor.
It sucks, but if your blower motor isn’t properly distributing conditioned air throughout your home, your system will overcompensate to reach the temperature set on your thermostat. It will continue to kick out more and more heated or cooled air while your fan pushes it weakly through the vents. This will likely cause a significant increase in your energy bill.
An overheating HVAC system is characterized by a burning smell and a system that won’t stay on. There are a lot of reasons why your HVAC system might overheat including dirty air filters, broken components, and age. If your blower motor starts to go out, it can cause the rest of the system to overwork and heat up.
Since there are several issues that can cause a bad blower motor, there are a few avenues you can take to solve your problem. We recommend contacting your trusted HVAC specialist to get a better understanding of what the best course of action will be.
Sometimes the issue with your blower motor will be isolated to a single component within the part. You may simply need to replace the belt or lubricate the bearings. The issue could also be as easily resolved by clearing debris from in and around the blower motor.
If the whole motor is bad, you will need to replace it. There are a variety of models and brands to choose from when it comes time to select a blower motor. If you don’t select the right one for your system, you might inadvertently cause further damage down the line. This is why it’s important to consult an HVAC professional to assure you select the correct blower motor.
Regular HVAC maintenance can save you a lot of trouble. Once you solve the issue with your bad blower motor, be sure to have an HVAC specialist come once or twice a year to ensure everything is in working order. Some problems might arise without warning and cause costly issues if you don’t catch them early. HVAC maintenance can help you get ahead of any hidden problems.