2 Issues That Will Damage Your Air Conditioner's Blower Motor

You just installed your new central air conditioning system and want to ensure that it will be capable of providing cool, comforting air to your household for the next several years. However, if you don't take the steps to properly maintain your unit's blower motor, the component that produces airflow throughout your system, then you can expect to receive expensive repair bills within the near future. Here are two issues that will damage your blower motor and the steps you must take to prevent them.

High Amperage

Amps are a measurement unit used to determine the strength of an electrical current. Your blower motor's capacitors and other various components are only capable of tolerating a certain number of amps. If your blower motor receives a greater number of amps than its components can tolerate, then your motor's capacitors will explode due to overheating. If your blower motor has blown capacitors, then it won't be able to activate—which will cause several other problems for your air conditioning system.

There are a number of issues that will increase the amperage being sent to your motor. Short circuits are the most prominent cause of increased amperage, but an excessive load causes the majority of high amperage readings.

The load on your fan motor is determined by the volume of air being pulled through your motor. Your HVAC blower is a centrifugal fan—which means it uses centrifugal force to propel air throughout your system. If your air ducts are too large for your new system's blower, then your motor will be forced to ventilate an excessive volume of air through your system. As a result, the load and amperage of your motor will increase.

If you didn't replace your air ducts along with your air conditioner, then the best way to prevent high amperage from destroying your motor's capacitors is to have your local HVAC technician calculate the proper airflow for your new system. If the ducts are too large, then duct resizing will be necessary. Although duct resizing can be expensive, it will not only lengthen the lifespan of your blower, but improve the efficiency of your system as well.

Debris Accumulation

Debris that enters your HVAC system will become stuck to the internal sections of your blower motor. As more and more debris continues to settle inside your blower assembly, your motor will become completely coated in pet fur, dust, and other contaminants.

Although a small amount of debris won't cause any problems, a large amount of debris will insulate your motor. As a result, your motor will become prone to overheating. Overheating will both increase the likelihood of blown capacitors and decrease the lifespan of the other components of your motor.

Regularly replacing your air filter, cleaning your ducts, and sealing any leaking sections of your HVAC system will reduce the amount of debris that collects inside your blower assembly. If a large amount of debris continues to enter your system after you've made these improvements, consider increasing the MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value) of your air filter.

The MERV rating of a filter determines the size of the filter's pores. By purchasing a filter with a higher MERV rating, you'll protect your blower motor by trapping additional debris and slightly reducing the airflow through your system. With a filter that provides slightly greater airflow resistance, you'll also slightly decrease the load on your blower motor.

If you have yet to resize your air ducts or clean your HVAC system, then don't let another week go by without doing so. If you continue to resolve these issues, then your blower motor may be at risk of overheating or overloading. Hire your local HVAC technician to provide duct sizing and cleaning services if you aren't able to perform these maintenance tasks yourself.