What Is A Blower Motor?

what is a blower motor

HVAC systems have many different components inside the condenser and furnace that work together to keep your home comfortable year-round. One of those components is the blower motor or indoor blower motor which is essential to both the heating and cooling process. In this article we discuss what it is, how it works and symptoms of a failing blower motor.

What is a Blower Motor?

The blower motor is one of many components in your HVAC system, it turns the fan in your unit that blows the conditioned air from the unit and through the ductwork in your home. The blower motor is responsible for moving the air in both cooling and heating modes to get your home to the temperature set on your thermostat. Although it can be small, it is a powerful device strong enough to move vast amounts of air.

Single Speed Blower Motor vs Variable Speed Blower Motor

There are two kinds of blower motors either single speed or variable speed. A single speed motor will turn on when the thermostat shows the temperature in your home is no longer at the set temperature. A single speed motor will only operate at one speed and full capacity when it is in operation.  It will turn off once the desired temperature is reached. On the other hand, a variable speed motor or ECM (electronically commutated motor) can operate at lower or higher speeds which allows them to better control the flow of air in your home while using less energy. Variable speed motors also most often operate with less noise than single speed blower motors.

Blower Motor Maintenance

Routine HVAC maintenance can keep your blower motor operating properly in peak condition and reduce the risk of malfunctions. It is a good idea to schedule routine maintenance ahead of the cooling and heating seasons. During these visits our technicians will check that the blower motor is working properly as it is an essential HVAC component year-round. They will also check for cleanliness, check belt, and make sure it is properly lubricated.

Signs Your Blower Motor Needs to Be Replaced

Occasionally a blower motor will need to be replaced. Similar to other HVAC components the blower motor will become more vulnerable overtime due to wear and tear. If the blower motor is not working properly, it can greatly affect the comfort level and air quality of your home. Common issues with blower motors include resistor, fan relay and climate control switch issues. If you notice your HVAC system is constantly running and has a hard time reaching desired temperature or if you notice any of the following signs it would be a good idea to contact a professional for a service visit.

Weak or Lack of Airflow

Weak airflow is one of the first signs a faulty blower motor. It could be a sign that the blower motor is having a hard time pushing air out through the ductwork to achieve the set temperature. If you notice a complete lack of any air coming out of the vents it means the issue has progressed to the point the blower motor is completely inoperable. However, both low or lack of airflow can also result from various other issues including clogged air filter or duct leaks. The best way to determine the cause of the issue would be to contact an HVAC professional to inspect and diagnose to restore proper airflow.

Higher than Normal Energy Bills

Since the blower motor is such an integral component of your system it could be the cause for higher energy bills. An older or dirty motor will indeed work harder in order to properly circulate air leading to more energy consumption.

Strange Unusual Sounds

Many unusual sounds coming from the HVAC system may signal an issue with the blower motor. Any buzzing, squealing, screeching, rattling, or clanking could be a sign of a broken, damaged, or disconnected component. If you hear any unusual sounds, it is best to shut it off and contact a professional for diagnosis.


If you notice a burning smell coming from your vents it could be a sign of your blower motor overheating. Another sign of overheating is a system that is working but shutting down intermittently. It could be overheating due to age or a build up of dirt and grime. If you notice any of these signs it would be best to contact a professional to determine if it can be replaced or repaired.

Contact LA Construction, Heating and Air

Give us a call today at 818-341-3406 or contact us online for help with any issues you may be experiencing with your HVAC system or blower motor. We can help you determine if it would be best to replace the motor or if it can be repaired. We would be more than happy to help you get your system back to working properly.

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