Table of Contents
- Basics about air conditioning blower motor repair
- How quickly can the repair be done?
- Specialty motors and costs
- Blower motor and related parts
- Why replacing the capacitor is important
Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair
Labor time - Troubleshooting and repair of the air conditioner system time (approximate) 1.5 to 3 hours depending on unit location and part availability.
That 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. 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 replacing it with a PSC motor. If you don’t know what that terminology means, the air conditioner technician should know.
PSC Motors and Efficiency
PSC motors are far more efficient for AHU blower motor applications than shaded pole motors. Shaded pole air conditioner motors are a rare find (at least for me). When found in air handlers, they should need replacing with PSC motors. Additionally, when replacing any PSC motor, I recommend replacing the capacitor.
If the air-handling unit is difficult to access, it will take the technician more time to change the motor. Some motors are a part of the truck stock, 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.
Specialty Motors and Replacing the Blower Motor | Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair
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. The variable-speed motor and can be found on most high SEER units. Variable speed motors are more expensive than standard blower fan motors or condenser fan motors. However, 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.
Depending on the OEM of the equipment will depend on the cost of the part. Sometimes an aftermarket variable speed motor can be used. However, most brands have proprietary connections for the electrical. That requires an exact replacement. An exact replacement for the repair of a bad variable-speed fan motor. Typically, that is an OEM replacement motor.
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The New Replacement Motor
Typically, the air conditioner blower motor will be replaced with a stock blower motor from the HVAC supply store. Sometimes from a stock blower motor on the truck. The blower motor may not be the same brand, but it is important. You should understand that the blower motor matches amp draw, horsepower, voltage, RPM, and the diameter of the motor for remounting in the existing bracket.
Additionally, the motor direction, whether it be clockwise or counterclockwise. There are blower motors that are reversible with a simple wiring change. The bracket, which is in the existing unit, may not be able to be reused. That will necessitate a new bracket that will mount the motor properly.
Sometimes it also necessary to change the blower wheel. That is true if this wheel is damaged 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 a problem for the average consumer. 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.
The Capacitor | Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair
As always, it is always recommended to add a new capacitor, especially if replacing a bad blower motor. Firstly you make sure the capacitor has a proper rating for the new motor. Secondly, it only makes sense as capacitors are cheap compared to the cost of the motor. And finally, 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? Is the heat causing the capacitor not to work and putting extra strain on the motor? Again, even if the old capacitor tests are good, always replace them with a new capacitor.
Replacing the Blower Motor and Maintenance Schedules | Air Conditioning Blower Motor Repair
Hopefully, you were successful and are now enjoying the cold cool your climate system provides. Now you want to keep it going as long as possible. Make sure you keep a good clean filter in the system. Without a filter, the blower wheel and the evaporator coil will load up with dust and debris. Keep the blower wheel and the evaporator clean with a good clean filter and change it on a regular schedule.
Dirty air filters can cause your air conditioner to freeze up. It is simply wise to keep a clean filter. It protects the motor and keeps it operating smoothly. A good maintenance schedule will also save you from replacing the blower motor and possibly the blower wheel in the future.
Lastly, other Resources to help you with Capacitors and HVAC Motors:
- Run & Start Capacitors for HVAC Motors
- Start Capacitors for HVAC Compressors
- Troubleshooting HVAC Capacitors
- Air Conditioner Compressor Troubleshooting
- Condenser Fan Motors
- HVAC Electric Motor Basics
- Air Handler Blower Motors
- How to Wire a Run Capacitor to a Motor
Bad Air Conditioner Blower Motor