What Does an HVAC Blower Motor Do (& Why It’s Important)

Heating and air systems in Inland Empire homes have many components to keep the home comfortable, such as an HVAC blower motor. Essential to heating and cooling process, learn what it is, how it works, and what to do if you run into problems.

What is an HVAC Blower Motor?

The HVAC blower motor is the heating and cooling systems component that sends conditioned air from the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner into the home. Once the system heats or cools the air, the blower motor forces it through the duct system and out the vents in rooms throughout the house.

What’s the Difference Between a Single Speed and Variable Speed Motor? Which is Better?

A blower motor offers either single speed or variable speed operation, depending on the type installed within your system. 

  • A single-speed motor starts when the thermostat indicates more heating or cooling is needed in the home. It turns off once it reaches the appropriate temperature indoors.
  • A variable-speed HVAC blower motor operates at different speeds to deliver improved airflow control in the home. Known as an ECM, (electronically commutated motor), it runs at lower speeds to continue air circulation for better comfort and air quality while using less energy than a single-speed motor. 

A variable-speed system is similar to having multiple gears. Your car switches gears based on what’s needed, whereas a single-speed is either on or off. Full speed or nothing. Variable speed options deliver more comfort and more consistent performance. 

Plus, it puts less stress on the system and expends less energy. Less energy consumed, of course, means lower utility bills. 

New ECM Federal Regulations

Variable-speed HVAC blower motors are the new standard in heating and cooling equipment. In July 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy mandated equipment manufacturers only use ECMs in new furnaces and air handlers. 

This change is expected to generate billions of dollars of home electricity savings over the next decade and significantly reduce carbon emissions. 

If you buy a new heating and cooling system now or your HVAC blower motor requires replacement, you get a variable-speed blower. With existing equipment, many homes still have single-speed blower motors.

How to Troubleshoot an HVAC Blower Motor

Regular HVAC system maintenance helps keep your blower motor in peak condition and limit the chances of malfunctions with this important component. Occasionally, they do experience problems. If you experience trouble with your HVAC blower motor, try these troubleshooting steps before you call Sanborn’s for HVAC repair:

  • Blower motor and system do not turn on? Check the power source at your home’s electrical panel. Make sure the breaker has not flipped. Check the on/off switch on the unit’s exterior and verify it is on.
  • Heating and air system turns on but not the blower motor? Turn off the system and cut power. Then remove the access panel to access the component. Clear away dirt and debris built up on and around the motor.

If these troubleshooting steps do not restore function, your blower motor has probably experienced a mechanical or electrical failure and requires intervention from a certified technician to fix. Do not use your HVAC system until repairs have been made.

HVAC Blower Motor Help from Sanborn’s

If your blower motor isn’t working or you are ready to upgrade it for better energy efficiency, call Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating for help. Contact us today to schedule service or receive an estimate for new blower motor installation.