There's nothing worse in the dead of winter than pulling back the covers in the morning only to discover that your house is twenty degrees colder than it should be. A quick trip to the thermostat to double check the temperature setting is usually all that's needed to confirm your worst fears: something is wrong with your home's heating system. If your home is frigid even as your furnace seems to be running just fine, one likely possibility is a bad furnace blower motor. Keep reading to learn more about what this part is, how it functions, and the signs and symptoms of a blower motor that is failing.
What is a Blower Motor?
Blower motors are furnace component in forced air heating systems. Your furnace's blower motor is conceptually similar to a fan, in that its purpose is to push air through the heating system. In fact, this component is the only part of your home's forced air system that is actually responsible for pushing heat from the furnace to your rooms. Without a functional blower motor, heat would never be circulated away from the furnace itself.
Blower Motor Maintenance
The blower motor is one of the more expensive components in your furnace and a full replacement can be fairly costly. Depending on the particular mode of failure and what other components may also need to be serviced, this work can cost upwards of $500. Although no component lasts forever, there are some basic maintenance steps you can take to help extend the life of yours for as long as possible.
The most basic and most important maintenance you can perform is to simply check and replace the filter as needed. Dust or debris that makes it way to the blower itself can result in significant wear, ultimately leading to premature failure of the part. When checking the filter, thoroughly clean and vacuum near your furnace to cut down on the amount of dirt that reaches the filter in the first place. Finally, clean the impellers (blades) of the blower fan if they are easily accessible.
Symptoms of a Failing Blower Motor
The most obvious and severe symptom of a failing blower motor is simply that your furnace is running, but warm air is not reaching any other rooms in your house. Unfortunately, if this is the case then it most likely means that your blower motor has already failed and needs to be replaced.
In some cases, there may be warning signs that the blower motor is in distress before an actual failure occurs. Furnaces will shut down for safety reasons if they are overheating, and often this overheating can occur as a result of a blower motor that is working too hard and failing to circulate hot air away from the furnace. If this is the case, attempt to perform the maintenance described above to restore the blower to normal operation. If this does not work, you should contact an HVAC service, like Barnetts Heating & Air Conditioning, for further diagnosis.