How to Know If It’s Time to Replace Your Heater Fan

For over 3 years, we give homeowners the peace of mind that comes with a comfortable home

heater fan

Having a faulty HVAC system is never fun, whether it’s the middle of summer or the dead of winter. Most of us are so conditioned to having conditioned air that any problem with our HVAC unit can really throw us for a loop. Of course, the best way to mitigate problems with an HVAC system is to schedule regular maintenance checks, but unexpected issues can — and do — arise. In this blog, we’ll share some tips on how you can anticipate the time for replacing a heater fan before you actually reach an emergency situation.

What is a Heater Fan?

Whether you have a furnace or a heat pump, you also have a fan (or blower) that helps circulate the heated air throughout your home. While there are technical differences between a fan and a blower, for this blog, we’ll use the term “fan” to represent the part of any HVAC system that forces air in (or out) of it. Here are a few signs it might be time to repair or replace your heater fan:

Age – As with any mechanical part, a heater fan can break down due to a variety of issues associated with its age. Over time, heater fans can be exposed to an accumulation of dirt and debris or excessive moisture that forces them to work harder than necessary and/or develop electrical short circuits. In either scenario, the heater fan becomes less efficient at moving air from one place to another, making it likely that a problem will arise soon. While advancing age is by no means the only reason you should consider a heater fan replacement, it should serve as a warning to be prepared for upcoming issues.

Weak or Non-Existent Airflow — A tell-tell sign of a faulty heater fan is little or no airflow. If you only feel a small amount of warm air coming out of your vents (or worse, none at all), you might have a leaky duct, faulty relay or malfunctioning thermostat. While none of these issues would necessarily warrant the purchase of a new heater fan immediately, other issues could be at play. The heater fan motor, for instance, could be clogged or have a faulty electrical connection, which would make the probability of a replacement a lot more likely. Sometimes, a service call can fix weak airflow issue(s), but if the damage has been ongoing and your heater fan is unable to run at full capacity, you should consider your replacement options.

Strange Noises — Heater fan issues can similarly be precipitated by strange noises coming from the unit itself. Any clanging, squealing or knocking that occurs when the heat kicks on is not normal and could indicate a problem.

Strange Smells — Similarly, strange smells coming from your vents are also not normal and could mean your heater fan is overheating due to electrical damage. This is especially true if your heater fan shuts down completely not long after being turned on. If this happens, call for an HVAC inspection and know that a replacement is probably imminent.

Change in Your Energy Bill — A heater fan consumes a lot of energy, so when there is an issue that makes your HVAC unit run harder and/or longer than normal, you will see an increase in your energy bill. If this happens, check for leaks in your ductwork. If there are none, you might need a new heater fan.

Want to Learn More?

These are just a few of the signs to look for as you assess the health of your overall HVAC system and your heater fan, in particular. To learn more about maintaining and/or replacing any part of your heating and cooling system, please contact our team of professionals at Confident Comfort.