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Winter Check In: HVAC Inducer Motors

Winter Check In: HVAC Inducer Motors

This winter, we’re looking to stay as warm as possible. That’s why it’s important to ensure that all of the components of your furnace are operating correctly. The last thing anybody wants is to have their heat compromised in the middle of winter. Basic HVAC maintenance and upkeep is straightforward and easy, and we’ve got some of the parts that you’ll need to stay warm and safe all winter long.

Chief among them is the inducer motor. It’s a part that is integral to the smooth and safe operation of the furnace. 

What does the inducer motor do?


The inducer motor’s job is to push the combustion/exhaust gasses out of the furnace, through the exhaust pipe, and out of your home. 

The inducer motor is a fan that lives inside the furnace which ensures proper and safe airflow. It works with electrical safety switches to ensure that the motor is operating properly. If the safety switches detect a problem, they will lockout the motor and prevent the furnace from operating.

Because the inducer motor deals with the exhaust of harmful gasses, a faulty inducer motor can be dangerous. 

Troubleshooting Inducer Motor
Problem: The inducer motor is noisy

There are several potential reasons behind a noisy inducer motor. It’s important to examine the motor and test it differently depending on what kind of noise it’s making. 

If the motor is rattling while it’s running, you can test it by opening your furnace, locating the inducer motor, and pressing on the metal housing while the fan is running. (Note: if you are going to test your furnace yourself, please exercise caution when touching any of the components while the furnace is running.) If your furnace has metal housing, please do not press on it or touch it with your bare hands as it will be VERY HOT! Use gloves during this process to ensure your safety. 

If the noise subsides while you are pressing on the housing, it could indicate that housing itself is loose. In this case, you can tighten the screws on the housing to alleviate the noise and take care of this issue. Again, please exercise caution when touching any part of the furnace whether it’s on or off because the components can become extremely hot. 

If tightening the screws does not make a noticeable difference in the amount of noise that the motor is making, then it could be a separate issue. 

Sometimes, debris from outside will fall through the exhaust pipe and into the fan, causing it to become noisy. If you suspect that this has happened to your motor, you can find a technician who can help you remove the motor assembly and inspect it to find out the true source of your problems. 

Sometimes, an aging, older motor will become noisy over time. This is normal. Motors that become noisy as a result of age can run for quite a long time without trouble (other than the noise). An experienced technician can help you diagnose the noise coming from your motor. 

Problem: Motor will not start


If the motor is making noise but it is not spinning, this typically is a sign that the motor must be replaced. Be careful when examining your motor when it is noisy but not spinning - even though the motor itself is not spinning, if you hear that it is making noise, it can still be VERY HOT. It’s best to avoid touching it when it is making noise, or even after it has finished running because it can still be hot in these cases. 

In cases like these, you might also notice a kind of burning smell coming from your motor. This is an indicator that 

If this sounds like your problem, it’s best to replace the motor. 

If the motor is not starting or making any noise, it might need to be replaced but it could also mean that there is another problem in your furnace. We recommend contacting a technician to help you diagnose your problem. 

If you have found that you need to replace your inducer motor, you can find them at the Snap Supply store here. Don’t forget to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm that the part you are looking at is correct for your furnace. 

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