HVAC Fan Problems: Guide to Troubleshooting

HVAC Fan Problems: Guide to Troubleshooting

HVAC fan problems can manifest in several ways. You may notice a gradual decline in indoor comfort and consistent temperature control. Or, you may suddenly be faced with a system that provides no cooling or heating at all.

Installed at the indoor air handler, the system blower fan in an average home circulates around 1,600 cubic feet of air per minute. Diagnosing and repairing the causes of HVAC fan problems is a job best left to a qualified service technician.

However, you can gain a general idea of what’s going on and what may be required to fix it with this simple guide.

Airflow seems weak.

While a clogged air filter is a more common suspect for anemic airflow, fan problems can also be the cause. If the fan belt has stretched over time, for example, it may be slipping on the motor drive pulley resulting in reduced blower speed. A service tech can replace it, tighten the new belt to specifications, as well as oil blower moving parts. Heavy dust and dirt accumulation on blower fan blades can also inhibit fan effectiveness. This requires cleaning blower components to restore full efficiency. Regular air filter replacement also helps prevent dirt/dust contamination.

Squeaking or squealing sounds when the fan is running.

This is another sign of potential fan belt or pulley issues. A belt that is slipping or a pulley, or some other moving part that requires lubrication, is usually the origin of these noises. Diagnosis and repair should be a slam dunk for a qualified HVAC professional.

Fan motor doesn’t run at all.

If you can’t hear the fan start or feel any air circulation when the HVAC system cycles on, a burned-out motor may be the reason. Fan motors generally last from 10 to 20 years depending on system usage and whether it receives annual preventative maintenance recommended by manufacturers. Fans are typically not repairable so you’ll need to have an HVAC service technician install a new unit with the proper output to match system requirements.

For professional service to diagnose and repair HVAC fan problems, contact Aggressive Mechanical.

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