The Repairs A Direct-Drive Or Belt-Driven AC Blower Motor Could Need
Your central air conditioner relies on a blower system to circulate air through your house and over coils to make the air cooler. The blower system depends on a motor to spin the fan and cause air to move. There are two types of motors used in air handlers. One is a direct drive and the other is fan driven. Here's the difference between the two and the repairs they might need.
A Belt-Driven Blower Motor
A belt-driven system has a motor that controls a belt that spins the fan. Belt drives were common in older HVAC models, so if you have a new air conditioner, you might have a direct-drive motor instead. The belt used to control the motor deteriorates with age. It can also get loose and slip. When the belt slips, it can make a screeching noise when your AC kicks on, and if the belt is loose enough, it won't turn the fan and there won't be air coming out of your AC registers. An AC repair service company (such as Nathan's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.) might just tighten the belt if it is in good shape otherwise.
The belt can also break once it's worn down enough or when it overheats. When the belt is broken, it has to be replaced before your AC will blow air again. So, if you hear shrieking or screeching noises coming from your air conditioner, you should call an AC repair service before the belt breaks and you need emergency repairs to stay cool.
A Direct-Drive Motor
A direct-drive motor eliminates the belt, so you don't have to worry about the belt slipping or snapping any longer. Instead, the motor connects directly to the fan. This is a more efficient way of operating the blower and this configuration also makes it possible to have a smaller air handler unit. Although you don't have to worry about a belt, the direct-drive motor can malfunction, too. One possible problem is screws vibrating loose. In that case, repairs might be simple. Tightening the parts eliminates a noisy air conditioner and keeps the parts working efficiently.
No matter what type of blower system your AC has, it's possible for both the motor and fan to develop problems. For instance, the motor itself could have electrical problems, the bearings might be bad, or the fan and motor could become clogged with dust. Problems with the blower system often start with unusual noises, and you'll notice less air coming from the registers as the situation gets worse. Your AC can still chill the air, but there is less air moving through the system. A blower motor problem could cause your AC to stop working, so it's good to call for repairs and fix the malfunction in the early stages so you don't risk an AC breakdown on a hot day or night.