Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair
Bad Air Conditioner Blower Motor
What you will learn from this article:
1) Basics about blower motors and air conditioning blower motor repair
2) How quickly can the repair be done?
3) Specialty blower motors and costs
4) blower motor and related parts in the blower
5) why replacing the capacitor is important
Labor (troubleshooting and repair of the air conditioner system) time (approximate): 1 1/2 to 3 hours depending on unit location and part availability
Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair – This is common in the summer. High heat and constant use causes old (and some new) air conditioner blower motors to burn up. There are several different types of air conditioner motors and when dealing with anything electrical the best replacement is an exact replacement. There is a contradiction to that phrase. If you have a shaded pole air conditioner blower motor in your air handler I recommend that it be replaced with a PSC motor. If you don’t know what that terminology means, the air conditioner technician should know. PSC motors are far more efficient for air handler blower motor applications than shaded pole motors. Shaded pole air conditioner motors are a rare find (at least for me) but when they are found in blowers they should be replaced with PSC motors. Additionally, when replacing any PSC motor I recommend replacing the capacitor.
Related Link: Learn more about electric motors used in HVAC – Take a closer look and learn more
Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair – If the air-handling unit is difficult to access it will take the air conditioner technician more time to change the motor. Some motors can be carried on the truck but most have to be picked up from an HVAC parts supplier. There are companies with parts runners. Once the HVAC tech diagnoses the problem they call the parts runner. Sometimes, by the time the technician has the old motor pulled the parts runner has the new motor delivered.
Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair – Specialty Motors
If your unit is equipped with a double shafted motor expect to pay up to $300.00 or more for a new motor. These double shafted motors are rare in residential units but they do exist. Out of about a hundred motors in 2001 I only had one that was double shafted.
Another medium ticket item for replacing is the ECM blower motor which variable speed and can be found on most high SEER units. Variable speed motors are more expensive than standard blower fan motors or condenser fan motors but they are more efficient than conventional PSC motors and have better although more sophisticated control. If you have a variable speed motor that is bad it is important to replace the motor with an exact replacement and depending on the OEM of the equipment will depend on the cost of the part that needs to be replaced. Sometimes an after-market variable speed motor can be used however most brands have proprietary connections for the electrical so an exact replacement is needed for repair when a bad variable speed fan motor is found.
Related Link: Learn more about Variable Speed ECM Blower Motors – Take a closer look and learn more
Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair – The New Motor
Typically the air conditioner blower motor will be replaced with a stock blower motor from the HVAC supply store or from a stock blower motor on the truck. The blower motor may not be the same brand but it is important, and the HVAC technician should understand this, that the blower motor be matched for amp draw, voltage, RPM, diameter of motor for remounting in existing bracket, and motor direction whether it be clockwise or counter-clockwise. There are blower motors which are reversible with a simple wiring change and the bracket which is in the existing unit may not be able to be reused. Sometimes it also necessary to change the blower wheel also if this wheel is damage in any way or out of balance. The HVAC technician will be able to recognize all these things and offer quick efficient solutions. Parts are also the problem for the typical average consumer as most HVAC supply houses or even OEM stores do not sell to the general public. There are many reasons for this but it is partly to encourage competent repairs by a skilled technician when the system fails.
Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair – The Capacitor
As always, if you are a regular reader of High Performance HVAC articles, I always recommend changing the capacitor with a new capacitor if the blower motor is replaced. Firstly you make sure the capacitor is properly rated for the new motor, secondly it only makes sense as capacitors are cheap compared to the cost of the motor, and lastly you will be reassured that the capacitor is good. Most capacitors are tested when they are cold. What happens when it gets hot while running. Is something breaking down when it is hot causing the capacitor not to work and putting extra strain on the motor? Again, replace the capacitor even if the old one tests good.
Related Link: Learn more about capacitors used for HVAC motors – Take a closer look and learn more
More about air conditioning can be found here.
Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair