If your furnace is on the older side, you may find yourself looking for a replacement blower motor at some point. Why? Because a blower motor is one of the most critical components of a furnace, and it can burn out at some point. But are they interchangeable? We have researched blower motors, and in this post, we will answer this question for you.
Yes, most blower motors are designed to be universal, meaning that they can typically be swapped in furnaces of a different brand. This means that if you have a Goodman furnace, you may be able to purchase a blower motor that isn't made by Goodman as a replacement.
However, when doing so, it's imperative to make sure that the motor will match the size of the furnace. And to do this, you'll need to know specific details about the blower motor.
If your furnace is over 10 or 15 years old, it is more likely to experience failure from internal components. However, it doesn't mean that you should scrap the entire furnace. Continue reading to learn about how to replace a blower motor and how to know when it's the cause of furnace-related issues.
How do you match a furnace blower motor?
To match a furnace blower motor, you'll need to look at the make and model number of the blower motor. The details that you need to know include the horsepower, amps, voltage, speed, and shaft size of the motor. The highest speed will be listed if the motor has multiple speeds (common speeds are usually 1075, 1200, and 1400).
You'll also need to check the user guide for the furnace to determine if there are any other specifications needed for the blower motor. And it wouldn't hurt to consult with an HVAC technician for assistance.
Can I put a bigger blower motor in my furnace?
Yes, you can place a bigger blower motor in your furnace. However, you will need to check the user's guide for your furnace to see its limitations as far as voltage, horsepower, and amp usage.
How long does a furnace blower motor last?
On average, blower motors last about 10 to 20 years. The length of time that your furnace's blower motor will last depends on the furnace's age and how often it's used. Every component within the furnace will have a life cycle, and blower motors are expected to last for the entire life of the furnace.
However, wear and tear can cause the bearings in the motor to become dry and worn out. The motor may also experience issues with its internal brushes and wiring. One of the best ways to extend the life of your furnace's motor is to have it maintained once or twice a year.
The HVAC technician will lubricate the bearings in the motor, check for faulty wires, and ensure that other components in the furnace are running properly so that they don't negatively affect the motor.
How to know when it's time to replace the blower motor?
There are signs that your furnace will display when the blower motor starts to wear out. Here are the most common ones:
The airflow from the vents becomes weak
This is typically one of the first indications that the blower motor may be failing. If you notice that the furnace's airflow is becoming weak, check the vents and then check the blower motor for continuity. This typically means that the blower is having a difficult time pushing an adequate amount of air through the vents.
In turn, the furnace may not be able to heat the home to your desired temperature. You'll also want to check the air filter and vent ducts, as a buildup of dust and dirt can restrict the blower's ability.
Many times when the blower motor becomes faulty, the capacitator will go bad, which will deprive the motor of the voltage it needs to run properly.
There is no air flow coming from the vents
If you feel no air coming from the vents at all, chances are that the blower motor has failed to the point where it's completely inoperable. If this is the case, the motor will likely need to be replaced instead of repaired.
However, you'll also want to contact an HVAC technician before making any big decisions, as the issue can also be due to a faulty thermostat, a bad relay or electrical wiring, or a fan control issue. A professional HVAC technician can inspect your furnace system to find the culprit and replace the faulty part.
Your energy bill is much higher than in previous years
A sudden increase in your energy bill for the winter months is a dead giveaway that the furnace is experiencing component issues. That is, of course, unless you have some other appliance that you're using during the colder months of the year.
However, when the energy bill gets noticeably high, it may be because the furnace is working longer and harder than it normally would to heat your home.
This, in turn, is typical because of a faulty component—which is usually the blower motor. If your furnace is over 10 or 15 years old, it may be a good idea to have a technician take a look at the system to determine what state the motor is in.
Most of the time, an unusual sound coming from your furnace is indicative of an issue with your blower motor. Sometimes, the blower motor can suffer from dry bearings or problems with the belt. If the motor is making clinking, rattling, or banging sounds, it may be that a part is loose.
You shouldn't ignore strange sounds coming from your furnace, as it may lead to bigger and more expensive repair jobs. A trained HVAC technician can perform an inspection and advise you on whether or not the motor needs to be repaired or replaced completely.
The motor is overheating
Once a blower motor starts to wear down, it will often overheat. However, this can also result from grime and dirt accumulating around the motor. If your blower motor is on the older side, it is more likely to overheat.
This is why yearly maintenance plans are important, as they can prevent breakdowns, overheating, and higher energy costs. If your furnace is taking longer to heat up the home than it normally would, chances are that the motor is working overtime and possibly overheating during the process.
How do you replace a furnace blower motor?
While it is recommended that you have an HVAC technician replace your blower motor (especially if you have no experience working with electrical components), here are the steps to do it yourself:
1. Turn off the power
Blower motors are typically hardwired to your home's electrical supply. This means that you'll need to turn off the power to the furnace and at the circuit breaker.
2. Test the motor
Before replacing the motor, be sure to test the wiring with a circuit tester to make sure that the circuit is not live. This will prevent you from potentially shocking yourself during the removal process. When performing this step, always use a non-contact wire tester.
3. Remove the old motor's assembly
The blower motor will be located behind the furnace's front cover. Be sure to remove this cover by unscrewing the top inside screws and lifting it away from the furnace. You may need to remove another cover once you open up the furnace.
Once you have access to the blower motor, you will see a small barrel-shaped assembly extending from its housing. Remove the bolts holding the assembly onto the furnace. Next, disconnect the electrical wires carefully. At this point, you should be able to remove the motor completely.
4. Connect the new motor assembly
Set the old motor aside and place the new motor and its place. Assemble the screws on the motor. Attach the electrical wires to the furnace before applying the cover, and turn the circuit breaker switch back on.
Then turn on the power to the furnace to test the blower motor. Allow it to run for 5 minutes to ensure that it does not turn off. If it doesn't, you're good to go. Replace the front panel to the furnace and reattach the top and side screws.
How much is it to replace a blower motor?
The cost to replace a furnace blower motor can range anywhere from $250-$500. The cost for the motor itself typically ranges from $70 to $150 depending on the brand and model. Many technicians will charge a set price for the replacement, or they'll charge by the hour.
Wrapping Things Up
Replacing the blower motor in a furnace is not a job that most homeowners decide to do. It's best to let an experienced HVAC professional perform this task for you, especially if you aren't familiar with repairing HVAC appliances.
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