While many homeowners find their home's furnace and heating system to be intimidating and complex, the fact is that most heating systems are actually fairly simple. In fact, many heating system problems can be narrowed down to a few common components. One of the most common culprits for heating system trouble is the blower motor. Here's a look at what you need to know about your heating system's blower motor and the signs that it needs repair.
The blower motor is what's responsible for forcing the heated air from the furnace to the air ducts to distribute that heated air throughout your home. When the blower motor is working properly, the blower fan will force that air through the system and you'll feel consistent heat blowing through your forced air vents.
If you start to notice that the airflow from your heating vents is weak or there's no airflow at all despite the furnace running, those are key indications that your blower motor isn't functioning the way that it should. When the blower motor doesn't engage the fan, the heated air won't flow through the vents the way that it should. You'll need a heating repair technician to test and potentially replace the blower motor.
In most cases, homeowners become pretty familiar with the normal noises that their heating system makes. When you notice noises that are out of the ordinary, that should be a cause for concern. When it comes to the blower motor, you may notice that your furnace sounds fine until the blower fan engages, then you might hear squealing, squeaking, or banging. If you hear sounds like this, that's an indication that your blower motor needs attention right away.
When the blower motor in your furnace is failing, you might notice a hot electrical smell or an odor like something's burning from the air in your heat vents. This is a serious concern. Any odor like this should be an indication that you need to turn the furnace off and call a heating repair technician right away. There could be an electrical short in the blower motor or the fan could be seizing.
In some cases, problems like these will trip a safety override that will automatically turn the blower fan off. You may hear the fan turn on, then turn right back off when you smell the burning odor.
A residential heating repair technician can inspect and test the blower motor and fan to determine the source of the problem.