Understanding the Function of a Blower Motor

HVAC technician repairing a blower motor on a residential HVAC system

When researching or troubleshooting your HVAC system, the term “blower motor” may come up. This component is essentially the power behind the hot and cool air circulating out from your system.

Though understanding every part of your HVAC system isn’t in the homeowner rulebook, learning a little bit about your blower motor makes understanding, operating, and occasionally troubleshooting your heating or cooling system much easier.

What Does a Blower Motor Do?

Simply put, an HVAC blower motor is the component that turns on your system’s fan that pushes the hot or cold air out of the unit and into your home. Air heating systems such as electric and gas furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and mini splits all utilize a blower motor to transfer this air.

Anytime your thermostat communicates to your heating or cooling system that the temperature settings are not being met, your system will kick on. It’s the job of your blower motor to then operate the fan to circulate that produced air.

Where Is the Blower Motor Located?

The exact HVAC blower motor location will vary slightly depending on the system type and model. For most furnaces, your blower motor will be located in the base of the unit next to the air filter. For most ACs and heat pumps, it will be located inside the air handler (i.e., the indoor unit). It’s also possible that certain units may share a blower motor in the air handler—typically with an AC and furnace. For a mini split system, each indoor unit will have its own blower motor that is typically located behind the air handler casing and between the control panel and the fan blade.

In some cases, your blower motor may be tucked behind many wires and parts, so if you’re not having any luck locating it in your unit, it’s best to leave the navigation and service to the experts.

The Two Types of Blower Motors

There are two main types of blower motors: single-speed and variable-speed. A single-speed motor will run at a single speed and turn off when the set temperature is reached. A variable-speed motor will constantly run at a range of lower speeds to continue air circulation throughout your home. The demand for air will determine the variation in speed that this motor will provide. For these reasons, a variable motor is typically more energy-efficient and creates a more consistent temperature.

The 4 Bad Blower Motor Symptoms in HVAC

If you suddenly find your home is not being properly heated or cooled, your blower motor may be to blame. Look out for these four common signs of a bad blower motor:

  1. Weak, or no, airflow from vents

  1. Unusual noises or smells coming from the HVAC unit

  1. Higher energy bills for the same amount of heated or cooled air

  1. HVAC unit overheating

Though you could be spot-on in assuming your blower motor needs replacing, it’s possible there are one or more other concurrent issues with your HVAC system. For this reason, it’s best to contact your local Aire Servtechnicians to properly troubleshoot your HVAC system.

Related Topic: What Can Cause a Furnace to Stop Working?

What Causes a Blower Motor to Fail

A failing blower motor could be the result of several issues, not just the component itself. Some of these reasons include:

  • Moisture buildup
  • Debris buildup
  • Worn-out bearings
  • Blower motor resistor or fan issues
  • Temperature control issues
  • Electrical issues
  • Old age

For many of these, especially buildup and blockage, an annual maintenance plan can ensure your HVAC system continues to run smoothly.

Related Topic: How to Clean a Gas Furnace

Let Aire Serv Troubleshoot Your Blower Motor Issues

The blower motor is the power behind your HVAC’s air circulation. If it’s not operating at peak efficiency, your home won’t be able to easily reach its normal, comfortable temperature. If you suspect a faulty or broken blower motor, contact your local Aire Serv professional. We have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix the problem so you and your family stay comfortable throughout the year. Give us a calltoday or request an appointment online to get started.