What does an Air Conditioning Blower Motor do?

Learning more about your air conditioning system makes it easier to keep it in great shape. Take your air conditioning blower motor, for instance. Knowing how it operates and what it does for your home gives you a leg up in terms of maintenance and upkeep.

What the Blower Motor Does

In a nutshell, the air conditioning blower motor is what drives the blower fan, which in turn moves air throughout the AC unit. Nearly every HVAC unit uses a blower motor in some way or fashion to deliver cool air to where it’s needed most.

The blower motor works whenever you manually turn it on via the thermostat or automatically when your AC kicks in at the desired temperature setpoint.

Common Locations

Where the air conditioning blower motor is located depends on the model and type of AC system. On most split AC systems and heat pumps, the blower motor is located within the indoor air handler. Ductless mini-split units typically have their blower motors self-contained inside each air handler unit. The same goes for window-mounted and portable air conditioning units.

Blower Motor Types

The vast majority of blower motors can be divided between single-speed and variable-speed units. As the name suggests, single-speed blower motors run at one, non-adjustable speed. In fact, single-speed blower motors have two states: running at 100% or not running at all.

In contrast, a variable speed blower motor can run at a wide variety of speeds, giving it more benefits over a single-speed blower motor. For instance, you can operate the blower fan at ultra-quiet speeds. These blower motors also use less energy at lower speeds, meaning you’ll enjoy greater energy efficiency in the long run.

Most modern air conditioning blower fans are of the “squirrel cage” type with the actual motor integrated into the fan. Older designs exist, however, especially fans driven by a belt-and-pulley arrangement.

Blower Motor Issues

It’s not everyday that an air conditioning blower motor fails, but the following issues could drive it towards an early demise:

  • Physical damage to the blower fan blades
  • Worn-out blower motor bearings
  • Electrical issues, including faulty relays and contacts
  • Moisture and/or debris buildup
  • General neglect and/or poor maintenance

Fortunately, many of these issues can be prevented simply by investing in regular maintenance. That’s especially true when you look out for these and other warning signs:

  • Poor or nonexistent airflow
  • Strange noises coming from the indoor cabinet
  • Strange odors coming from the blower motor
  • Higher energy bills with little to no explanation

No matter what issues you’re facing with your air conditioning blower motor, you’ll want to get on top of them as soon as possible. Fortunately, you can always turn to the experts at Gulf Coast Air Systems for prompt and professional maintenance.

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