A failing HVAC system is the last thing you want when temperatures begin to rise in California. If your air conditioner isn’t providing cool air or is acting unusual, the best thing to do is identify and repair the problem as soon as possible. This way, your home can return to its comfortable state quickly. Many factors can cause an HVAC unit to malfunction, and sometimes the fixes are easy. Other times, there might be a more severe issue, like a broken component that needs to be replaced. The blower motor is an important component of your air conditioner, and it needs to be in top-notch condition so as not to affect the comfort level and air quality of your home. Here’s a comprehensive list of 5 signs your HVAC blower motor needs to be replaced.
What Is a Blower Motor?
First, let’s talk about what a blower motor does. The blower motor is a component in your HVAC system that blows the conditioned air through the vents in your home. It takes the cool air that your air conditioner makes and circulates it throughout your house. The blower circulates the air to ensure that the temperature reaches the level dictated by your thermostat. The blower is a spinning fan with a resistor that controls the fan’s speed and moves air through the ducts and vents in your home. Even a small motor can move large volumes of conditioned air.
There are two types of blower motors: a single-speed motor and a variable-speed motor. A single-speed motor blows air at one speed and to full capacity whenever it’s on. It will turn on and off according to the settings on the thermostat. A variable-speed motor operates at more than one speed, allowing for temperature control and more even air distribution throughout your home. The variable-speed motor also allows for better energy efficiency.
Signs Your Blower Motor Needs Replacing
If you begin to notice more and more things are wrong with your air conditioner and you’ve had it for a few years, the trouble is probably with the blower motor. Like any mechanical part, a blower motor becomes more susceptible to mechanical issues when used over time. Repairing the motor will work for a little while, but it’s better to replace the whole thing the first time it acts up. You should replace your blower motor when you notice the following signs:
1. Weak Airflow
The first indication that you have a faulty blower motor is when the airflow out of your air conditioner is weak. Weak airflow means that the furnace blower motor has difficulty pushing air through the ducts to reach your desired temperature. The weak airflow could be because of dirt and dust buildup in the motor, a bad capacitor, or a motor past proper functionality. It is best to have an HVAC professional evaluate the issue to know if the weak airflow is caused by the blower motor, dirty or leaky ducts, or a clogged filter. Once they establish if it is the blower motor, they can clean it, fix a bad capacitor, or replace the motor entirely.
2. No Airflow
No airflow could mean that a problem with the blower motor has resulted in the component becoming inoperable. An inoperable motor means you will have to replace it with a new one. But, the absence of airflow can also result from a bad relay or battery, a fan control problem, or a faulty thermostat. Again, the best way to determine the cause of the problem is to have a heating and cooling specialist inspect your system.
3. Unusually High Energy Bills
The blower motor is the component in your HVAC system that uses the most energy. An aging, problematic, dirty motor has to work extra hard to circulate conditioned air through your home, so that could be why you see a sudden spike in your utility bills. If your air conditioner is way past its prime or using a single-speed motor, replacing it with a current, variable speed model would be beneficial. The new motor will automatically adjust its energy usage while cooling your home appropriately. Energy isn’t wasted then, and it will reduce your energy bill.
4. Strange Sounds
Unusual sounds coming from your HVAC system usually mean a possible problem with the blower motor. Squealing or screeching noises mean the blower motor has a damaged belt or bearings problem. You can fix this by replacing the belt or lubricating the bearings. If a motor is making more of a rattling, clanking, or banging sound, there could be a loose or broken part somewhere. Loud banging sounds indicate something being damaged or disconnected and are especially problematic. You should turn the unit off and contact a professional immediately to replace the motor at this stage. Promptly fixing these issues prevents the motor or other surrounding components from breaking. A technician can inspect the blower motor thoroughly and tell you if a repair or replacement is better.
Several things could be causing your motor blower to overheat. Dirt and grime on the motor could be stopping it from venting, which can cause heat to build up over time. If your blower motor is old and worn out, it will have difficulty keeping your home cool. The strain to produce cold air will lead to overheating, breakdowns, and higher energy costs. A couple of signs let you know your blower motor is overheating. There could be a burning smell coming from the vents, or the air conditioner will shut itself off to prevent further damage. When this happens, immediately turn your unit off and contact an HVAC specialist to replace your blower motor.
Replacing Your Blower Motor
Contacting an HVAC company to replace your blower motor will ensure that you find the correct replacement model and that it is installed properly. A specialist understands the motor’s parts that will help find the right replacement, including the type of drive, the diameter of the motor, its rotation direction, horsepower, voltage, speeds, and the size of the capacitor. They can point you to the correct cost-effective models that operate in various settings and provide you with a quote. You can then schedule a time for installation.
At Atlas HVAC Inc., we will thoroughly inspect your blower motor to determine if it needs replacing before any work. We will then help you pick the best replacement motor and install it into your unit for optimal air conditioning use. Our extensive experience, highly-trained technicians, and stellar track record ensure that you will be satisfied with our work when it is done. Contact us today at (877) 452-8527, or visit our website for a free quote and get started on your blower motor replacement today!