For those who do not know, the air handler is the device responsible for actually circulating air throughout your house. It consists of a motor, a fan, sound dampers and, in the case of a heat pump, the heating coil. If you turn on your heater and you don’t hear the fan, it’s a good sign that your air handler is broken. Here, we’ll take a look at what can go wrong with your air handler, and what you should do about it.
Broken Fan Belt
The fan belt is a rubber loop that connects the motor to the fan itself. When the motor turns on, it rotates the fan belt, which rotates the fan and begins blowing air. The fan belt is crucial to the operation of the entire air handler. Over time, however, the fan belt can stretch and develop cracks from the stress of regular use. Eventually, the belt will break. This renders the motor unable to turn the fan and circulate air throughout the house. If you turn on your heater and you can hear the motor, but air isn’t circulating, it is possible that the fan belt has snapped.
Burned Out Motor
The motor is the device that supplies power and motion to the blower part of the air handler. A burned out motor is often caused by dust or debris entering the system from the ductwork. This is why having a clean air filter is so important. Even with a working air filter, however, the parts inside the motor will accumulate dust over time. The worst place in a motor for dust to build up is on the bearings, which are responsible for keeping friction down and allowing the motor to run efficiently. If the bearings get dirty enough, they lose the ability to lubricate the motor. When this happens, the motor eventually burns out. If you turn on your heater and air isn’t blowing, check to see if the heater is actually on, and whether you can hear the motor. If the heater is on, but you can’t hear the motor, you’ll probably need to replace it.
If you are having issues with your heating system, call Clean Air Act. Our HVAC technicians offer reliable heating service throughout all of Portland.