Furnaces today provide accurate performance for a long time, and it’s because they come with numerous features. Even if these features are great for ensuring the most precise temperature in your home, they also require maintenance and servicing. Furnaces take intense wear, and the components will develop problems sooner or later. Addressing the issues isn’t always effortless, so professional help is necessary most of the time.
One of the components that are fundamental for the proper operation of the furnace is the inducer motor. Troubleshooting the inducer motor is essential as your furnace cannot operate if the component is defective.
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What’s the role of the inducer motor?
The inducer assembly is a fan that collects warm air through the furnace’s heat exchanger, taking it to the outside through a vent pipe. The draft inducer has to ensure that the combustion gas is correctly vented out of the furnace. In contrast, the heat is spread evenly all over the heat exchanger’s walls, providing the burners with a constant oxygen source.
The draft inducer should operate 30-60 seconds before the burners light and keep running until the burners are off. The air pressure switch will control the draft inducer, and when it identifies the wrong amount of air coming out of the heat exchanger/or no air blows at all, it will stop the furnace from operating.
Here’s what you should remember about the inducer motor:
- The inducer motor is, in fact, a motor-driven fan, with an electrical box for power connections and metal housing.
- The motor has to push the air through the furnace and heating vent pipes.
- The motor’s function is to push dangerous gases (carbon monoxide is one) away from your home through the vents/chimney.
- The fan has to eliminate the harmful gases from the earlier heating cycle.
- The motion from the moto reduces the risk for furnace burners to get clogged with soot.
- Cleaner air means a more effective and safer furnace.
Should you worry about the loud noise from the furnace?
One of the first signs to know that the draft inducer motor became faulty is the sound it makes. A failing inducer motor may produce a noise right after the heating cycle started. A humming, tapping, or whirring sound tells that the inducer has gone wrong.
The draft inducer (vent blower) not operating correctly is the most common reason your furnace will generate a loud noise. It’s the first step of events after a heat request, running throughout most of the heating process.
After the vent has moved through the pressure switch, the furnace turns on and begins to heat. The tiny motor located within the housing will start to produce a noise whenever there’s a buildup on the wheel (creosote or sulfur); it can also generate a noise when the motor is close to its usable life. Either way, the only solution for a noisy inducer motor is to replace the whole assembly. Rebuilding the inducer motor is very difficult, so installing a new draft inducer blower by a professional is the safest choice.
Even if the sound is the most obvious sign that the inducer motor has gone wrong, you may still try several tips for ensuring that the inducer motor is no longer useful:
- You should switch off the power and utilize a voltage pen to examine that there’s no power getting to your furnace.
- Put the furnace’s doors aside and get to the blower motor side (it’s typically on the right), touching the blower motor. Is it hot? If it is, it means that it has attempted and failed to start, which is a sign that the draft inducer motor is faulty.
- You have to access the squirrel cage (it’s on the left side in most models), paying attention not to hurt yourself in the sharp fins. Try to spin the squirrel cage and observe if it turns effortlessly. If it’s unable to spin freely, the draft induces motor has gone wrong.
What steps should you take to replace the draft inducer motor?
The steps you have to take to replace the draft inducer motor are different between various furnace models, but a brief depiction of the process will nevertheless guide you.
Here are the steps to take for replacing a draft inducer motor:
- Begin with switching off the gas to the furnace and turn off the power to the unit as well
- Put the panel covering the furnace to the side.
- Examine and identify the furnace draft inducer; typically, it’s in the upper-left corner.
- Continue with removing the inducer motor. The details for removing it depend on the model of furnace you have.
- Now it’s time to align and replace the current inducer motor.
- Put the furnace cover back on, turn on the power to the furnace, and see if everything runs properly.
As the inducer motor is fundamental for your furnace, you should never postpone any inducer motor problems.