HVAC Systems use the blower motor to feed warm and cold air to the rooms of your house year round. The only time they don’t seem to be working is for a few months in the fall and spring when the weather is mild enough to not need heating or air conditioning.
Because they work so often they need to be made to run for many hours before replacement is necessary but like all things eventually you will need to have your furnace serviced.
There are two parts to the fan in your heater.. the motor and the fan cage. The fan cage almost never gets damaged to require replacement but the motor that drives it can have a variety of problems that all motors run into.
You can have worn contact brushes, a bad bearing or a shorted armature.
If you could obtain the brushes for your motor the cost would probably be under $15 for the brush set but you will need to remove the motor, remove the cage fan from the motor, disassemble the motor and install the brushes.
Once you have the motor off of the fan cage it is almost always best to just go ahead and replace the motor.
In almost all furnaces the motor can be replaced with a generic equivalent.
Generic motors are used not only for the furnace but also for your external air conditioning unit.
The rating and size of the motor should be on a label on the motor.
You can visit your local electrical supply house that serves the HVAC industry or you could possibly purchase the motor online if you can wait for delivery. Waiting in the summer is not that much of a problem but in the winter you don’t want your house to get cold and your pipes to freeze.
If you don’t think that you can perform the work yourself then you can hire a HVAC Technician.
Labor for HVAC repairs can be expensive. Although the work is not normally that difficult if your heating unit is located in a basement with lots of room you can expect to be charged at least a full hour but most likely 2 hours labor.
If the company sends two techs you could even end up paying twice as much in Labor. That is not really reasonable but I have seen it happen.
The cost per hour will depend where you live but you can expect to pay $60 per hour or more.
You should ask about labor costs before the technician visits your home. Ask if there is a 1hr minimum and if they bill in hours or if they bill in quarter or half hours after the first hour.
Also if you call at a time of day other then normal working hours you will probably pay a premium. Weekends and Holidays are also a premium. The extra fee could be equal to more then an hour of labor.
Oil Heat Systems
Oil heaters are normally feeding a baseboard hot water system however oil heat also requires a motor to feed the furnace with air to allow the oil to burn.
Although the systems are different the same premise exists.
You have a motor and a fan system. Some fans are of the squirrel cage type and others are propitiatory.
But luckily the motors are also available in generics.
Replacing the motor on an oil heat furnace should take no more then an hour and the process is pretty easy. The only hard part about replacing an oil heat furnace fan motor is that the motor also runs the oil pump. It can be a little tricky but the install is not impossible for the average home owner who is not rushed to heat a freezing home.
Fan systems on Oil heaters are often referred to as inducers.
So you can do the work yourself if you can get the part in a reasonable amount of time.
It is probably good to call around your area or ask at your local supply center now before you need one and ask about generics and how to spec the motor size, volts, speed, amps.
In the end you should not have to pay more then about $350 to $500 maximum for a new blower motor but if you have a oil delivery service contract then they should cut you a break and the lower end of the scale should be your maximum.
If a company tries to make you pay $1000 for a motor and starts telling you your circuit board and a whole bunch of other things are wrong then call someone else.
Unfortunately there are not that many companies that provide this service so hopefully you will get a rival and they will be more then happy to satisfy you to get your business away from a competitor.