Furnace Inducer Motor Making Noise? (Possible Causes & Fixes)
Depending on how old your house is, your furnace may have an inducer motor. This is a handy dandy piece of equipment that keeps harmful chemicals, like carbon monoxide, out of your home.
If you find yourself hearing a strange noise from the furnace inducer motor, we just might have the solution. The noises you’re hearing are usually caused by one of two things. Either there’s buildup on the wheel or the motor is going out.
Whatever situation you’re facing, we have plenty of tips below. You’ll learn everything there is to know about furnace inducer motors and the noises they make.
What Does a Furnace Inducer Motor Do?
There are several things that a furnace inducer motor actually does. Here are the main functions of this type of motor:
- The motor moves air throughout the furnace and heating vent pipes.
- It removes harmful gases by using the furnace vents or a chimney.
- The fan gets rid of poisonous gases from your home’s heating cycle.
- It creates clean air to keep your home as safe and as efficient as possible.
- It’s a motor-driven fan that uses an electric box and metal housing.
- The fan-like motion of the motor helps prevent the furnace burners from getting clogged with soot.
How Do I Know If the Draft Inducer Motor Has Gone Bad?
So, you hear a noise, but does that mean you have to replace the entire unit? One thing that makes a significant difference is WHEN you hear the noise.
If it’s shortly after a heating cycle starts, you may hear a tapping, humming, or whirring sound. This is a sign of a failing inducer motor.
If you’re hearing a noise and there’s a smell, learn more about that here.
Common Inducer Motor Noise Problems
Is the unit turning on, but the blower motor isn’t? Here are a few things you can do to see if the draft inducer motor needs to be replaced:
- Turn the power off and use something like a voltage pen to make sure it’s entirely off.
- Take off the doors to the furnace and reach in on the right side, towards the blower motor.
- Cautiously touch the motor to check if it’s hot. If it is, this is a sign of a failing motor.
- Next, reach on the left towards the squirrel cage. Be aware of any sharp fins that may be in your pathway.
- Try to spin the squirrel cage. If it doesn’t spin freely, that’s a sign the draft inducer motor has gone bad.
Repairing an Inducer Motor
When it comes to replacing the furnace draft inducer motor, the steps you need to take will vary depending on your furnace. Below you’ll find a standard set of instructions that will work for most furnaces.
A lot of the time, the internal bearings have worn out, leaving you with no way to repair the original motor. It’s easier to replace the whole thing and start from scratch.
Most units are reasonably affordable, and it’s a project that you can do yourself. There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional for a task like this.
Step 1: Turn off the gas and power to your furnace.
Step 2: Remove the panel cover of the furnace.
Step 3: Find the furnace draft inducer. Again, this can usually be found in the upper-left corner.
Step 4: Take out the inducer motor. There are several tutorials on Youtube about how to do this step for specific inducer motor brands. Simply type in the brand name, followed by “Inducer motor removal.”
Step 5: Align the new inducer motor where the original one was.
Step 6: Put back the furnace cover and turn the gas and power back on.
Why Should I Replace My Furnace Inducer Motor?
Furnace inducer motors only last for so many years. If you’ve had your furnace for over a decade, chances are the inducer will need a replacement. For a quick and easy job like this, there’s no reason not to replace it. Remember, this motor helps keep poisonous and harmful chemicals out of your home.
When there’s an issue with the furnace inducer motor, and it doesn’t get replaced in time, more significant problems start. You may end up having to replace your entire furnace, which can cost a pretty penny.
Getting it out of the way can not only save you money, but you get your peace and quiet back. That’s priceless if you ask me.
Preserving the Assembly
Let’s say you’ve replaced the motor or at least fixed why it’s making noise. How do you make your hard work last long? You always want to make sure you’re following the instructions on your furnace’s owner’s manual. Along with this, be sure to do yearly inspections to ensure everything is working correctly.
You’ll also want to change the HVAC air filter your home has regularly. This makes your furnace work less hard, making it last longer. Avoid blocking any areas, such as vents and ducts, where heat registers.
Let’s Talk Cost
Like with any other home repair, knowing how much it will cost you is crucial.
This simple chart gives you an idea of how much you can expect to pay. This may vary based on location or the underlying condition of the inducer noise.
|Installation Method||Average Cost|
|Typical Average Installation||$245-$500|
Replacement Parts Price Factors
With such a wide range, it’s essential to know what influences how much you’re spending. Let’s take a look at some of the more common factors that play a role.
Many furnaces, especially more expensive ones, come with a warranty. You’ll likely have to pay for the part and the labor. While this sounds like a good deal, it can still be more costly than doing it yourself.
Speaking of whether or not you do the repair yourself makes a big difference in cost. As you can see from the chart above, you can save hundreds of dollars by doing it yourself.
There are two different motor types: PSC and ECM. PSC motors are much more affordable but do tend to be louder. ECM motors are more energy-efficient but will cost you the most upfront.
The Capacity of the Motor
The bigger your furnace is, the larger the inducer motor will be. Bigger parts tend to cost more.
Voltage is often related to capacity, but not all the time. 110-120 inducer assemblies are cheaper than 220-240 motors.
If your furnace is in a hard to reach area, it can cost you more. Anywhere that’s difficult for a technician to reach will cause them to up the charge of labor.
Inducer Motor Access
Similar to where the furnace is located, the inducer motor location matters too. While most are easy to get to, if it’s not, expect to pay for in labor fees.
Where you live can play a part in the cost as well. The cost of living in your area is a good indication of how much a professional will charge you. A high cost of living is going to be a more expensive job.
Lastly, the demand in your area matters. If you need a professional to get the job done during peak season, expect to pay more. This is because they’re busier and there’s a higher demand for their work.
What does an inducer motor do on a furnace?
The draft inducer acts as a fan or blower. It moves air and gases from the furnace through the chimney, out of your home. Different inducer motors can run at different speeds, making air move faster or slower.
How do you lubricate an inducer motor on a furnace?
You’ll see small holes around the motor; this is where you’ll be putting oil. It doesn’t take much, just a drop or two per hole. It’s a good idea to do this regularly to ensure the motor is always lubricated.
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