The rest of your furnace can be in tip top shape, but if the blower isn’t working it won’t avail you much. The blower, also called the air handler is the area of your furnace responsible for circulating air throughout the house. It both distributes warm air and brings in cool air so that the furnace can warm it.
Air handler problems are not uncommon, but they are one of the more crippling issues that the furnace can experience. There are a couple of different specific problems that can cause your furnace’s air handler to malfunction. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that your air handler may not be working.
Burned Out Motor
The motor that powers the air handler is powerful, as it needs to push a large amount of air over a fairly long distance. Every time the furnace is on, the motor is put under a lot of strain. In order to compensate for this level of stress, the motor is equipped with lubricated bearings that reduce the friction. These bearings can last for a long time, but they aren’t invulnerable. Eventually, they will wear down and need to be replaced. If they are not replaced, the friction on the motor will continue to increase until it overheats and burns out. At that point, the only thing that can really be done is to replace it. A grinding sound coming from your furnace is usually the sound of the motor bearings failing. If you hear that sound, be sure to have a professional look at it right away.
The air handler is one of several parts powered by electricity, regardless of the type of fuel the furnace burns. This means that it draws all of its power from the home’s electrical grid, and is just as susceptible to short circuiting and power outages as any other electrical appliance. The popular idea that gas furnaces are immune to power outages is a myth, and this is part of the reason why. No air handler, no furnace operation. If your air handler is not responding to the thermostat at all, it is possible that the wiring in it is faulty.