Furnace Draft Inducer Motor Failure

Recent government-mandated efficiency standards require new gas furnaces to include a draft inducer motor. When the furnace receives a signal to begin heating, the draft inducer motor begins spinning. Doing so removes dangerous gases produced during the previous heating cycle, such as carbon monoxide. The gases flow out of your home through external vents or a chimney.

30 to 60 seconds after the furnace inducer motor kicks in, the burners ignite. The inducer motor continues spinning to provide the burners with a steady flow of oxygen. The draft created by the motor also prevents soot from clogging the furnace’s burners. By providing cleaner air to the burners and preventing blockages, the draft inducer dramatically improves the heating system’s efficiency.

In essence, the draft inducer motor is nothing more than blower motor, fan, and electrical box. Although it’s a fairly simple component, inducer motors have one of the highest failure rates of any part within a furnace.

A failing inducer motor often creates bothersome noises and reduces the efficiency of the furnace. If it gives out completely, your furnace will be unable to provide heat altogether. So let’s discuss some of the signs of a bad inducer motor.

Signs of a Bad Inducer Motor

Tapping noises are one of the most common signs of a bad inducer motor. These noises may be the result of dirt or soot collecting around the fan shaft. They might also come from the bearing in the motor clicking together.

Vibrating noises are another sign of a bad inducer motor. If the motor’s wheel becomes unbalanced, it will vibrate as it spins, often colliding with adjacent components.

Because the inducer motor helps your furnace run safely, the furnace will usually shut off if the motor won’t turn on. However, a bad inducer motor isn’t the only reason a furnace would shut off. A blocked gas vent flue or faulty pressure switch can have the same effect.

Fixing the Problem

Most draft inducer blower designs are nearly impossible to rebuild when the motor (or another component) fails. As a result, most fixes require a replacement motor. However, units manufactured by Carrier and Bryant often serve as the exception that proves this rule. Most of the inducer motors made by these companies can be repaired rather than replaced.

But diagnosing the exact cause of any HVAC system shutdowns is not always as simple as it initially seems. Sometimes minor issues show symptoms that are nearly identical to problems that would require costly part replacement. Because of how difficult it can be to diagnose furnace problems, it’s best to leave it to professionals.

Heatmasters can help with everything from repairs to furnace maintenance in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Our highly-trained technicians are dedicated to your safety as well as your comfort. And no one is more reliable. Give us a call today at 773-777-5700 to schedule an appointment