A failing HVAC system is the last thing you want when summer temperatures soar to triple digits in Las Vegas. If you find that your air conditioner is unable to provide adequate cooling or showing unusual behavior, it’s essential to identify and fix the problem promptly, so that you can quickly return your home to a comfortable environment.
There are numerous factors that can cause your HVAC unit to become ineffective, ranging from small problems that can be easily fixed, to major issues caused by a bad component that needs to be replaced. The blower motor is an important component of your air-conditioner. If it isn’t working properly, it can significantly affect the comfort level and air quality in your home. Here’s a comprehensive guide for determining if you need to replace the blower motor in your HVAC system:
What Is a Blower Motor?
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 created by your air-conditioner and circulates it throughout your indoor space to ensure that the temperature reaches the level dictated by the thermostat. It performs this task by spinning a fan, which causes air to move through the ducts and vents in your home. Even a small motor is capable of moving a large volume of conditioned air.
There are basically two types of blower motor: the single-speed blower motor and the variable-speed blower motor. A single-speed motor blows air at only one speed and full capacity when it’s operating. It turns on and off according to the thermostat’s instructions. A variable-speed motor, on the other hand, can operate at lower or higher speeds, which results in a more even temperature throughout your home and better energy efficiency.
5 Signs Your Blower Motor Needs to Be Replaced
Similar to other components in an HVAC system, the blower motor will become more vulnerable to mechanical failures as it experiences more wear and tear over time. If your air conditioner is aging and becoming increasingly problematic, there’s a good chance the blower motor is in trouble. Even if it’s repairable, an aging motor will likely malfunction again in the near future. Instead of having to fork out money every now and then to pay for repairs, it may be more financially sensible to get a new motor. Look out for these five signs suggesting it’s time to replace your HVAC unit’s blower motor:
1. Weak Airflow from the Vents
This is usually the first indication that you may have a faulty blower motor. If the airflow coming out of the vents is weak, it can mean that your blower motor is having a hard time pushing enough air through the ducts to achieve your desired temperature. There are a number of possible reasons why this is happening, including dirt and dust buildup, bad capacitor, and an aging motor. If your blower motor is dirty or has a bad capacitor, you can call in an HVAC technician to fix the problem. On the other hand, if your motor is reaching the end of its service life, you should start looking for a replacement motor. It’s important to note that weak airflow can also result from dirty or leaky ducts or a clogged filter.
2. No Airflow at All
If you don’t feel any airflow coming out of the vents, it may mean that a problem with the blower motor has developed to the point where the component is entirely inoperable. In this case, you’ll have to replace it with a new motor. However, the absence of airflow can also be caused by other factors, such as a bad relay or battery, fan control problem, and a faulty thermostat. The best way to determine the cause of the problem is to hire a qualified technician to inspect your system.
3. Unusually High Energy Bills
The blower motor is the part of your HVAC system that uses the most energy, so it may very well be the culprit if you see a significant rise in your utility bills. An aging, problematic, or dirty motor has to work harder to properly circulate conditioned air throughout your home, which leads to higher energy consumption. If your air-conditioner is way past its prime or using a single-speed blower motor, consider replacing the motor with a smart variable-speed model. This type of blower motor can automatically adjust its energy usage to meet the varying cooling needs in your home and reduce the amount of energy wasted.
4. Strange Sounds
Many unusual sounds coming out of an HVAC system may be indicative of a problem in the blower motor. Some of the issues that cause strange sounds can be repaired by a professional, while others may require replacement of the motor. For example, squealing or screeching noises may mean that the blower motor has a damaged belt or bearing problems, which can be fixed by replacing the belt or lubricating the bearings respectively. If the motor is making rattling, clanking, or banging sounds, it may be because of a loose or broken part. Loud banging sounds are especially worrisome because they’re usually a sign that something is damaged or disconnected, which may necessitate replacing the blower motor.
Regardless of the type of strange sounds your blower motor is making, you should turn off the system and contact an HVAC technician immediately. While problems such as a loose or damaged belt and bad alignment can be easily fixed, they can cause damage to the blower motor or its surrounding components if you don’t fix them promptly. A trained technician can perform a thorough inspection of your blower motor and let you know if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Your blower motor may overheat because of a number of reasons. Dirt and grime can accumulate around the motor and prevent it from venting itself, causing heat to build up over time. You can solve this problem by hiring a professional to service your motor. Sometimes, age is the biggest threat to an HVAC system. If your blower motor is too old and worn out, it’ll have a harder time keeping your home cool. The additional strain can lead to overheating, breakdowns, and higher energy costs. In this case, getting a new blower motor is the best solution.
If your blower motor is overheating, you’ll see some very clear signs. One of the common signs of overheating is a burning smell coming from the vents. This is usually accompanied by a complete system shutdown. An air-conditioner with an overheating blower motor may shut itself off to prevent damage and electrical hazards. If you see any of these signs, you should shut the system down and contact an HVAC company immediately.
Replacing Your Blower Motor
If the blower motor of your HVAC system needs to be replaced, an HVAC company can help you find the right replacement model. There are cost-effective universal models that can operate at a wide variety of settings if they’re wired correctly. In order to get the right blower motor for your air-conditioner, the contractor has to take a number of things into consideration, including the type of drive, the diameter of the motor, rotation direction, horsepower, voltage, speeds, and size of the capacitor. Once the company has determined the right replacement for your blower motor, they’ll give you a quote and make arrangements for the installation.
How to Find a Reputable HVAC Contractor
A replacement blower motor is a substantial investment and plays an important role in creating a comfortable and healthy environment in your home. As such, you should make sure you get a good blower motor from a reliable air-conditioning contractor that offers high-quality products and installation services. The following are a few useful tips for finding the right HVAC contractor:
Create a Shortlist
There are numerous HVAC contractors in the Las Vegas area, but you can narrow down your options to a few reputable companies by doing some research. Go to review sites such as Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and Better Business Bureau and look for several local HVAC companies that have received impressive reviews. Alternatively, you can ask your family members, relatives, friends, and social media contacts for referrals. Find out if the companies they recommend deliver quality workmanship and good customer service.
Look for Licensed and Certified Companies
Reliable HVAC companies can have certifications such as Diamond Certified and NATE, which show that they’re able to provide top-notch air-conditioning services. However, if a company doesn’t have Diamond and NATE-certified techs, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a quality company. Also, all their technicians are EPA-certified, licensed, insured, bonded, and background checked to ensure that your family and property will be safe. All HVAC contractors are required to show their license numbers on their websites and marketing materials so that their customers will know that they’re licensed to operate in Las Vegas.
Make Sure the Contractor Conducts an Inspection
A good HVAC company will suggest inspecting your blower motor first to ascertain whether it should be replaced. Proper inspection also allows them to determine what kind of motor is compatible with your air-conditioner and provide a more accurate quote if a replacement is needed. A contractor that gives you an estimate before inspecting your blower motor is questionable.
Replacing an aging or malfunctioning blower motor can significantly improve the performance of your HVAC system, reduce your energy costs, and enhance your indoor air quality. If your blower motor is showing any of the aforementioned signs, consider contacting The Cooling Company to arrange an inspection or replacement. We can help you determine whether you should replace your current blower motor and provide the exact replacement model or a suitable universal model if necessary. Our extensive experience, highly trained technicians, and stellar track record of customer satisfaction have made us one of the most trusted HVAC companies in Las Vegas.
Contact us today at (702) 790-8277 to speak with our friendly and helpful representatives.