While Georgia may not be known for exceptionally frigid temperatures, anyone who lives here knows that winters require a furnace system to keep homes warm and toasty. That’s why it’s important to keep your furnace clean and maintained so that everything works as it should when it should.
At Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, we understand the many issues that may arise when your HVAC system doesn’t work properly. That’s why we’re your top choice for reliable furnace maintenance in Richmond Hill, GA. We provide every customer with the help they need, from small repair issues to more urgent emergencies. Our expert technicians know furnaces inside and out and stand ready to assist you with any questions or concerns related to your HVAC system.
We also want to ensure you know how your furnace works and how to keep it running smoothly. One of the essential components of your furnace is the blower motor. Unlike other, more complicated parts of your HVAC system, cleaning and lubricating your furnace blower motor is something you can do on your own. Read on to learn more about your furnace blower, how to keep it running as it should, and when to call in a licensed professional.
What Is a Blower Motor?
Your home’s HVAC system consists of several intertwined parts, so when one isn’t working efficiently, it affects the entire system. One of these components is the blower motor. The blower motor works hard every season, circulating both heated and cooled air throughout your ductwork to keep your home comfortable.
Your HVAC system relies on the blower motor to force warm or cool air through the registers in your home. The blower itself is a fan that runs on an attached motor, rapidly rotating to move air out of the furnace and into your home. The blower is typically housed below the burner chamber in your furnace and benefits from proper maintenance like any other mechanical system with moving parts.
For optimal performance, it’s vital to keep the blower motor lubricated. If the blower motor isn’t oiled properly, the fan may seize up and damage your furnace, resulting in potentially pricey repair bills.
Signs Your Blower Motor Needs Attention
Since your blower motor works to push air through your vents in both cool and warm weather, it’s a good idea to pay attention to any abnormal sounds. In some cases, the fix for a rattling noise or a loud motor is simple and doesn’t require an HVAC service visit. But if you’ve done all you can and the noises persist, it’s time to call a professional. Some of the more common noises and their causes include:
- A noisy motor, caused by worn-out bearings or a lack of lubrication
- Rattling or banging noises from the fan, caused by loose screws or brackets
- Reduced airflow from vents, caused by a dirty fan and motor
- Rapid cycling on and off, caused by a dirty fan or air filter
- The fan won’t work at variable speeds, caused by a dirty fan and motor or a blower motor in need of a reset
- The blower motor won’t work at all, caused by a power outage to the furnace, the blower motor requiring a reset, or a burned-out motor
If your blower motor needs lubrication, we’ve compiled the information below to help walk you through the lubrication process and get your blower motor back to peak efficiency with as little hassle as possible.
Locating the Blower Motor
The first step to lubricating your furnace’s blower motor is knowing what it looks like and where to find it. Depending on the design and age of your furnace, the blower motor’s appearance and location may vary.
As mentioned above, you’ll find the blower motor and fan in a compartment underneath the burner, in what some HVAC technicians call a “squirrel cage.” The blower motor powers the cylindrical fan of the blower. If you have an older furnace, you may find the blower motor mounted on the side of the blower, with the blower powered by a belt system. The fan spins when power from the spindle of the motor is sent to the spindle of the fan via the belt. In this type of furnace, the blower and blower motor are their own units, so repairs or replacements may be individual or include both components.
A direct-drive system likely controls the blower motor if you have a newer furnace. A direct-drive system sends power directly from the spindle of the motor to the blower, with no fan belt in between. In this setup, the lack of a fan belt means one less part to worry about. Also, a direct-drive system is typically one unit, with the motor inside the blower or attached to the side. In most cases, removing the blower motor by itself is still possible, but some designs may feature a more integrated unit.
Accessing and Cleaning the Blower Motor
The first step in accessing the blower motor is turning off the power to the furnace. Remove the screws or clips from the blower motor access panel, and you should be able to see the motor itself. The motor will have a few parts, including the shaft and the bearings, which you will need to lubricate. Unfasten the bolts that secure the blower motor to the furnace, and carefully remove the motor from the furnace. Be careful not to stretch the attached wires too much, and place the blower motor on the floor near the furnace.
On the side of the blower motor housing, you’ll see a set screw. Loosen the screw, then unscrew the bolts that connect the motor to the housing. Carefully remove the blower motor from the housing. Use a brush or a can of compressed air to clean off the fan and motor, and wipe away any excess grease you see around the fittings.
Lubricating the Blower Motor
Now, it’s time to lubricate your furnace blower motor. First, find the oil ports on the shaft and motor. There are typically two or three, and they should be clearly labeled. If unsure, check the owner’s manual for your furnace for confirmation.
You have a couple of options for lubricating the shaft and bearings of the blower motor. Spray lubricant, available at hardware stores, is sprayed into the oil ports. You may also inject the lubricant into the ports using a grease gun. Squeeze two or three drops of oil into each port. The blower motor manufacturer specifies the type of oil needed for its motor component, so use the owner’s manual as a guide.
Make sure to clean up any excess grease once you’ve sufficiently lubricated the motor. Leftover oil on any of the blower motor parts could cause the motor to overheat.
After you’ve finished lubricating your furnace blower motor, reattach and place the blower motor back into the furnace, carefully and accurately reversing the earlier steps for removal. Once the blower motor is back in place, reset the motor and restore power to the furnace. Run the furnace through a normal cycle, and if the blower motor was the source, any unusual noises should be gone. If they persist, it’s likely that the source of the issue lies elsewhere in the furnace, in which case you should call an HVAC professional for a diagnostic and repair.
Things To Remember When Performing DIY Furnace Maintenance
An important thing to note when getting ready to do any sort of DIY home repair is the potential complexity of the fix. While these instructions apply to most standard furnaces, some newer high-efficiency furnaces feature more complex mechanisms that require professional servicing. Additionally, keep in mind that issues you think may be related to the blower motor could indicate problems from another source.
Georgia Air Cooling & Heating | Your Choice for Top-quality Furnace Maintenance and Repair
If the blower motor on your furnace shows signs of needing maintenance or repair, cleaning and lubricating the furnace blower motor is a good place to start. If you’re unsure how complex the job might be, call the expert HVAC technicians at Georgia Air Cooling & Heating. Our upfront and honest approach to customer service ensures you’ll receive the best in quality workmanship at a fair and affordable price.
The best way to keep your furnace blower motor running smoothly all year round is by keeping it clean and maintained. That’s why we offer regular maintenance through our PeachCare Club. Our customers rest easy knowing their furnaces are in skilled hands. Our maintenance plan includes twice-yearly visits and yearly blower motor servicing, along with discounts on repairs and priority scheduling.
At Georgia Air Cooling & Heating, we’re proud to serve the community of Richmond Hill and the surrounding areas. Our trained and certified professionals provide fast, reliable, and affordable services with every visit. Keep your furnace in top shape with Georgia Air Cooling & Heating. Call us today at 912-513-3361 to schedule an appointment.