5 Furnace Blower Fan Problems and How To Fix Them
Furnace blower fans are an asset to many heating and cooling units, which is why it can be alarming to homeowners when they malfunction. Just like most electrical items, furnace blower fans can run into issues that prevent them from working properly. In some cases, you’ll need to enlist the help of local professionals like Entek to repair the issue or even replace the blower fan. But depending on the issue, you may be able to attempt to fix it on your own.
Here are a few of the most common blower fan problems and ways to fix them.
- Won’t Turn On
This is one of the most common issues that arise for homeowners. When your blower fan won’t turn on, it’s easy to think the worst. Luckily, there are a few troubleshooting options that you can default to before you need to call a professional. In many cases, the culprit is something small and can be easily fixed on your own.
If your furnace blower fan won’t turn on, the first thing you should do is check your power source. If a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows, it can easily cause your unit to stop working. Resetting the power can just as easily turn it back on.
Another possible quick fix for when your unit won’t turn on is to check the thermostat. The thermostat in your home is the control center for your furnace, and it has to be on the correct setting for it to work properly. Check to see if the setting is turned to fan and that it’s also set to the correct temperature. Changing this setting to read “fan” will allow your blower fan to continue its flow.
- Turns On and Off Constantly
When your furnace blower fan is turning on and off constantly, it can become a nuisance to your home. Though the unit will turn on and off when it doesn’t need to be in use, doing so frequently throughout the day isn’t normal, and you should look into the situation more closely. The first thing you should take note of is whether this is happening during a heating cycle or not. Figuring this out initially can help you to determine which steps you should take next.
Once you’ve determined when your furnace blower fan is turning on and off, you can start to attempt some simple at-home solutions. One possible action you can take is to check your air filters. A dirty or clogged air filter could be causing your unit to shut down due to overheating, in which case, it would turn itself back on once the unit has cooled down significantly. If your air filter is dirty or clogged, take the necessary steps to clean it fully or replace it and see if that makes a difference in the blower fan’s performance.
- Higher Energy Bills
Heating your home makes up as much as 42% of your overall utility bill. Because your furnace blower fan typically uses the most energy in your heating and cooling unit, having it in good working order is important. A good working furnace blower fan will assist you in keeping your energy bills as low as possible. If you begin to notice your energy bills creeping up or spiking to a much higher number than normal, the culprit could be your furnace blower fan. Blower fans that are old or pushing past unclean filters have to work harder to produce the results that your home is used to seeing.
When this happens, you’ll want to check your blower fan to see if there are any visible problems. If your blower fan is very old or your furnace uses an older single-speed blower, it may be time to upgrade instead of just trying to fix it. An upgraded, more-efficient blower fan can even further decrease your energy bills by automatically adjusting its energy use to suit the needs of your home.
Overheating is another common furnace blower fan problem that occurs in homes. Blowers are known to overheat due to improper ventilation, typically caused by debris buildup. Overheating can also occur when your furnace blower fan is an older model. Though you may not notice it’s overheating initially, some symptoms to look out for are a burning smell or a complete system shutdown. When this happens, there are a few things you can do before you call in a professional.
A solution you can attempt on your own is to double-check the air filters in your unit and replace them if they’re unclean. (You may have noticed this is a common theme.) Dirty filters make it harder for air to travel through your unit and force your blower fan to work harder than it needs to. Too much strain on the blower will eventually cause it to begin overheating if it’s not addressed.
- Humming or Strange Sounds
If you’ve had your furnace blower fan for a while, it’s easy to tell when things don’t sound right. A slight humming or other strange sound is a good way to be alerted that something might be wrong in your unit, so it’s best to not ignore it.
In most cases, these strange noises are the cause of a bad capacitor. The capacitor helps your unit to run by providing it with more volts, but when it’s overrun, it can malfunction and cause the blower fan to not work correctly. If this is happening, it’s best to default to a professional to fix the issue. The high voltage associated with this problem makes it a dangerous job to correct or repair, and having a trained professional take a look at it is the safest way to ensure it’s done correctly and safely.
Despite there being a few ways to correct these common issues with furnace fan blowers, it’s best to leave bigger problems to professionals. HVAC specialists like the staff at Entek are able to repair and replace blower fans that are having issues. They can also be enlisted to perform occasional maintenance services on your unit to help prevent any of these bigger problems from occurring.