The furnace in your house keeps your home warm in the winter. That alone is enough to qualify it as a blessing.

And that’s why the last thing you’d want is for it to malfunction when you need it the most! A busted furnace can be quite a bummer.

Whether the furnace turns off completely or stops pumping air, it requires your immediate attention.

In most cases, the furnace blower motor is what develops a fault and causes the furnace to malfunction, leaving you cold and irritated. So, what can we do?

  • First, identify the problem. See what’s wrong with your furnace blower motor.
  • Sometimes, there’s a problem with it but it keeps running, until it eventually stops working after a few days.
  • A stitch in time saves nine. So it’s best to spot any trouble early on

In this post I’ll share with you the telltale signs that your furnace blower motor needs some professional attention.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

What is a Furnace Blower Motor?

Located in every furnace, a furnace blower motor is responsible for blowing air from the furnace to the ventilation system inside your home. It’s positioned on the side of a furnace. You can access it through the blower access panel, present on most furnace models.

If you think there’s a problem with the furnace blower motor, I’d recommend caution. Don’t open up the blower access panel, especially when the furnace is powered on or is still hot.

What Causes a Furnace Blower Motor to Go Bad?

One of the major causes for a furnace blower motor to go bad is a broken or damaged blower motor belt.

The belt connects the motor to the blower, and the rotations of the motor result in the blowing of air from the vents of the furnace. Often, the belt starts getting worn on. And if the furnace stays on for a long time in this condition, it can cause the belt to snap completely.

This causes a breakage in the connection between the motor and blower, causing air flow to halt completely.

Another cause for the motor to go bad is lack of lubrication within its components.

Since the motor and blower consists of metallic parts, they can build up a lot of friction because of excessive usage.

If the motor isn’t lubricated on time, it can result in overheating and burning of the copper winding inside the motor. It can set you back a few hundred dollars. You may even have to replace your furnace.

If there’s any problem inside the blower, it can cause a lot of screeching and banging noises. So, even though the furnace is blowing out air, it can be quite unbearable due to the noise. You may need to get the blower replaced, or tighten the screws on a few parts.

5 Signs Your Furnace Blower Motor Needs Fixing

Even if you can’t fix your furnace blower on your own, there are several ways you can diagnose what’s wrong with its blower motor. Let’s look at five telltale signs that can indicate a problem with the furnace blower motor.

A hot or burning smell from the vents

Smell something burning in your vents or the furnace? Chances are that its blower motor has malfunctioned. The first thing you need to do is turn off the furnace and call a technician.

Loud and unusual noises

Normally, the furnace has a slight, undetectable humming sound that doesn’t disturb you. But if you hear anything other than that echo through the vents in your furnace, you know it’s time to power off the furnace. This can be caused due to the overheating of the blower motor.

Furnace powers off and doesn’t restart

The basic function of the furnace includes shutting down when it reaches the optimum temperature, and powering on when needed.

If your furnace turns off and refuses to start on its own, something’s probably wrong with the furnace blower motor.

You feel no warm air coming from the vent

If you suddenly start feeling cold (while inside your home!), it may mean there’s no warm air coming from the vents. While there can be a number of reasons for this, one of the major causes is the malfunctioning of the blower motor.

The furnace powers off completely and loses power

Last but not the least, you may experience a lack of hot air from the vents. On inspection you might see the furnace turns off completely and nothing you do can turn it back on.

This can mean that the blower motor has overheated, and it has probably burned the electrical winding.

So these are the 5 common signs that indicate your furnace blower motor has malfunctioned.

If you wish to take the DIY route and fix the fault yourself, I advise you to be very careful. You may run the risk of getting electrocuted or burned due to high heat.

Get a professional to handle it.

How to Keep the Furnace Blower Motor from Malfunctioning?

Once the furnace blower motor has gone bad, there’s little you can do to fix it. And the logical solution would be to replace it with a new motor that has the same specifications and model number.

Here are some things you can do to ensure your blower motor doesn’t keep turning off or getting burned:

Air filter replacement

The furnace blower has an air filter that traps all the dirt and dust from the air, so it doesn’t pass through your vents and into your respiratory system.

The air filter needs to be cleaned regularly. Because if it gets clogged, the dirt can travel to the motor causing it to overheat and malfunction.

Furnace inspection

Make sure to have your furnace inspected every few months. Since it stays off during the summer, make sure to get it examined before the winters arrive.

Check for sounds

Even if you hear a slightly unusual sound coming from the furnace, don’t ignore or delay it. Call a technician and have the blower motor checked.

By following these precautionary measures, you’ll be able to prolong the life of your blower motor and keep it from overheating and causing problems for your furnace.


Winters can be quite unforgiving, which is why it’s all the more important to keep your home warm. If your furnace gives way suddenly, you’ll be very disappointed and left cold.

So maintain your furnace and get it checked regularly. And now you also know the things to watch out for – signs that may indicate your furnace blower needs attention.

I hope this post helps you diagnose any problems with your furnace blower motor. And also helps you take care of the problem.

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Thank you for reading, and have a great day!