If your home has a typical HVAC system, it probably has a forced-air furnace, split AC, and a duct system. The split air conditioner has a unit that stays outside and it also uses the blower system in the air handler indoors that's part of your furnace.
The air handler runs during all seasons of the year, whether you're heating, cooling, or just running the fan. Since the air handler is used often, the blower and motor get a lot of use, and they can wear out quicker. Here are some problems your HVAC system may have with the air handler.
1. The Blower Fan Malfunctions
The blower in the air handler is shaped like a squirrel cage with several small blades around the sides. If the blower becomes loose or unbalanced, the fan may scrape against metal in the air handler and cause unusual noises. This can also strain the motor and cause the motor to overheat.
Even a buildup of dust can strain the motor, so it's important to keep the blower fan clean or you may need to call an HVAC repair service to clean and repair it on an emergency basis when your AC stops working.
2. The Electronic Parts Fail
The motor has to be in good shape so it can send power to the fan to spin it. That means the wiring and electronic parts, such as the capacitor, have to always be in good working order. If the capacitor fails, which is a fairly common problem with HVAC equipment, then it has to be replaced so the motor has a boost of power when starting up.
If your HVAC doesn't blow air or if it short cycles by turning on and then shutting down quickly, the electronic parts might be to blame. The repair technician can test the parts with a multimeter to pinpoint the problem, and they can then replace the capacitor if it is bad.
3. The Motor Goes Bad
The motor in the air handler might go bad due to age, but it's also possible it will go bad because of a problem with the blower fan that causes it to overheat. When the motor goes bad, the repair technician will probably need to replace it. This can sometimes be prevented by having the air handler serviced by a professional who takes the fan out to clean it thoroughly once or twice each year.
If you have the air handler and outdoor AC unit serviced each spring and the furnace and air handler serviced each fall, the fan should stay clean enough that you won't have to worry about dust buildup damaging your furnace.