October 19, 2023

Your HVAC blower motor controls airflow throughout your entire HVAC system. Without it, your furnace and air conditioner might turn on, but no conditioned air will flow into your living environment. More importantly, the temperature at the interior of your Austin, TX home won’t change at all. To help you get your blower motor problems diagnosed and resolved quickly, the following are five signs that this component has failed or is on its way out.

1. Weak or Unsteady Airflow

The first and most noticeable sign of a failed blower motor is the absence of airflow. If your HVAC system runs nonstop but conditions at the interior of your home don’t improve, stand by one of your HVAC air registers or vents to see whether any air is coming out. If you do feel air moving, determine whether it feels unsteady or weak.

While the absence of airflow means that the blower isn’t doing its job at all, poor or low airflow could be a sign that your blower motor is coated in built-up dust or other debris. Having a licensed HVAC company catch and correct this issue early on will prevent your blower motor from failing entirely. Built-up debris is a likely cause of airflow problems when annual furnace and AC maintenance services have been skipped or delayed.

2. Strange Sounds at the Blower Motor

When blower motors make screeching and squealing sounds during HVAC operation, they may have loose or damaged belts, or dry bearings that desperately need lubrication. However, it’s important note that when coming from HVAC compressors, these same noises indicate refrigerant loss and potentially dangerous, pressure-related issues. Thus, rather than attempting to diagnose and troubleshoot screeching and squealing sound by yourself, turn your HVAC system off and schedule service instead.

3. Rapid Overheating

When blower motors overheat, they quickly turn themselves off or they’re turned off at their circuit breakers. This rapid shutdown prevents excessively high heats from causing permanent equipment and electrical system damage. Both rapid shutdowns and frequent circuit breaker trips are good reasons to contact an HVAC company.

Your blower motor might have an electrical problem or there may be a fault within your electrical system. Blower motors often overheat due to airflow issues in other areas. Overheating could be the result of dirty and blocked HVAC air ducts, widespread vent closures, or debris-laden HVAC air filters.

4. Odd Smells

Most overheating equipment will eventually release strong, burnt odors. The stench of a failing blower motor is different from the hot, dusty aroma of a poorly maintained furnace being turned on for the first time in the season. You might smell scorched or melting wires or catch a whiff of distant smoke each time your HVAC systems turns on. These smells will be most noticeable just at your HVAC air vents.

5. A Sudden and Dramatic Increase in Your Home Energy Bills

When left unchecked, many functional and mechanical HVAC problems can have a major impact on your home energy bill. Any dramatic increase in your household’s energy use and monthly energy costs should be justified by the addition of new appliances, new household members, or other lifestyle or environmental changes.

Dirty and all-around poorly maintained blower motors have to use more energy to move air through HVAC air ducts. Aging and failing blower motors struggle constantly to get their jobs done as well. Although there could be other airflow-related factors at play. having your blower motor inspected is the best way to identify small and developing problems before they spiral out of control.

What to Know About Maintaining and Replacing Your Blower Motor

The average lifespan of HVAC blower motors is between 10 and 20 years. By scheduling annual heater and AC maintenance, you can ensure that this important component lasts as long your heater and air conditioner. Factors that accelerate normal blower motor wear include:

  • High indoor humidity
  • Electrical failure in a blower motor’s windings
  • Rust or other corrosion at the rotor laminations
  • Static pressure changes in HVAC ducting

Even simply failing to change your HVAC air filters at the correct intervals can lead to early blower motor failure.

We proudly serve residents of Austin, TX and the surrounding cities. With over three decades of industry experience, we offer top-notch heating, cooling, and air quality services. We also provide duct sealing, duct replacement, and attic insulation. If your blower motor is on its way out, contact Totally Cool Heating & Air today to schedule an appointment.

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