5 Signs of a Bad Furnace Inducer Motor and Troubleshooting

Furnace Induced Motor

Jake Smith, Online Marketing Strategist
Technically Reviewed by Jake Smith, Online Marketing Strategist on Aug 22, 2022 | Written by Alpha Mechanical Editorial Contributors

When the cool season finally arrives in Sacramento, California, we pull out warm clothes and head towards the thermostat to change it from cool towards warm settings. We begin to raise the temperature from whatever it was up to now to something that will keep us comfortable as we head for the cooler months.

However, at this particular moment, you notice that when you turn on the furnace, you hear, smell, and feel not what you expected! You may be experiencing issues with your furnace, but at this point you have no idea what it is, how bad it is, and what it will require to get it back on track. When it comes to your furnace not turning on, you may be looking at a few reasons: It can be a BLOCKED GAS FLUE, a FAULTY PRESSURE SWITCH, or the FURNACE INDUCER MOTOR has gone BAD!

In this article we will take time to address furnace inducer motor problems and provide reasonable solutions or recommendations for you to consider. We will briefly discuss the furnace inducer motors function and address issues that can arise when it’s not working properly. We will also help you decide if the issue is something you can diagnose yourself or will have to give a technician a call for Sacramento HVAC service.

What’s the function of
furnace inducer motor in an HVAC system?

Before you get the comfort of warm airflow in your house, there are sequences of events that must occur between you adjusting your thermometer to your desired temperature and the vents blowing in warm air. There are six main steps in the furnace sequence of operation, they are Thermostat → Furnace Inducer Motor → Furnace Pressure Switch → Igniter → Gas Valve → Sensor Flame → Blower Motor.

Today we want to focus on the furnace inducer motor and its importance in HVAC systems. Once you select your desired heat level, the inducer motor is the first thing you should hear kick on. The purpose of an inducer motor is to push combustion gasses through exhaust pipes to the outside of your house. It’s basically a motor driven fan that’s responsible for clearing up any fumes or poisonous gasses that are left over in the exhaust pipes from prior run. When this fan works as it should, you can be sure that your furnace will run more efficiently and safely

Value of proper furnace draft inducer motor
maintenance and replacement

When it comes to heat not running through the house, an induced motor is not something homeowners think of right away. In order to keep homeowners safe and comfortable, as they run heating systems in their homes, the manufacturers of furnaces build their products with a handful of failsafes and sensors. Another way of looking at the induced motor is that it functions as a safety feature that creates a negative pressure or draft that purges the heat exchanger of any poisonous gasses, namely the combustion’s byproducts including carbon monoxide out of your home through furnace vents or the chimney.

If this is not maintained properly, you will either experience NO HEAT in the house, your furnace won’t ignite, and it may begin to smell with bad gas odors, or every time the fan will turn on, it will create all sorts of weird noises. In many cases, there is only one way to resolve issues with the furnace inducer motor not working and that is to replace the unit.

Heater blowing cold air? Call us for quick furnace repair!

How to tell if
a furnace inducer motor is bad?

Set thermostat to heat and see if the inducer motor turns on, and you are experiencing anything but what you expect from the furnace then it’s time to try following diagnosing techniques to get to the bottom:

  • Do you hear vibrating or rattling noise shortly after the heating cycle begins?
  • Or while the furnace is on, you hear sounds such as a hissing, loud hum, or screeching?
  • Does the furnace start and stop suddenly?
  • The furnace burners just wont turn on?
  • When you open the furnace up you see blinking LED lights showing an error code signal?

Here are the 5 reason why your furnace inducer motor is not working as it is should:

1. Filter or vent blockage

When general maintenance care is not done to the furnace, it can impact not only the efficiency of the unit, but also the furnace unit itself. Make sure that you clean out vents from all blockages and replace filters regularly. We can help with some of that if you sign up for our service membership plan.

2. No power coming from the capacitor

Some motors have a capacitor that starts the motor and regulates the voltage while it’s running. If it is a bad capacitor, a new one should get it going again

3. Age of the unit

A furnace inducer motor lasts 15 years on average. Annual maintenance is the best way to extend the furnace inducer’s lifespan.

4. Worn out internal bearings

One reason the motor’s shaft locks up is that the motor’s bearings may be seized, preventing it from turning. This can happen due to age of the unit or over exhaustion, particularly when the system is not taken care of as it should which causes the overheating of the motor.

5. Broken fan blades or loose, rusty, or unbalanced motor wheel

If you hear rattling noise, a clunking noise, chattering, pinging, shaking, a wobbling noise that means something inside the motor or fan blade got damaged and needs replacement. If the flywheel on the motor or the actual squirrel cage is unable to spin when you manually try to turn it that means the motor beads to be replaced

Furnace on its last leg? Call us for quality furnace replacement!

When to conduct furnace inducer motor
troubleshooting and when to call a professional?

You will want to know more about the furnace inducer and understand its role in the HVAC system before you personally attempt to fix the issues. In addition to what you have learned in this blog, there is plenty of great material online to give you a handle on basics. Manufacturers have gotten very good at providing customers with quality furnace products. They built plenty of failsafe elements into their systems to help customers experience comfort and safety. If solving the problem yourself is not an option, contact Alpha Mechanical for furnace repair services in Sacramento.

Furnace inducer motor not working as it should

Here are typical steps the system will perform to let you know that there is something wrong with the unit:

If the inducer motor doesn’t turn on when it’s supposed to, the furnace will recognize this and shut down. The system will wait a bit and try again. It will try to start about 4 times after which the control board will stop sending voltage to the inducer motor, essentially locking it out from attempting any more startups.

If you need help with a diagnostic on “why your furnace inducer motor is not starting as it should” or you want replacement. We can come out and conduct tests and provide replacement of the new inducer motor.

Hire Alpha Mechanical for your
next furnace repair or replacement project!

Alpha Mechanical has been in business in the Sacramento area for many years. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers.We never seek to upsell unnecessary equipment or rip off our customers financially when it comes to their HVAC units. Our technicians know how to test inducer motor in the furnace and how to replace them if they are broken.

We offer coupons and financing for your convenience through partnered banks. We take time to communicate to our customers the problem with the furnace and guide them to optimal and reasonable solutions at a competitive price.

Final Thoughts

By now you have some of the important role that Furnace Inducer Motor plays in the comfort and safety of your home. We discussed that when “furnace inducer motor not running” as it should,  it’s due to several contributing factors such as the age of the unit, power supply issues, other sensor failures, blockages to airways, or plain breaking down of the internals of the motor and fan itself.

As always, we are here to help! We understand that these things fail at the worst time of the year. Right when we are looking to cozy up and escape the cold from the outside, we get cold on the inside of our homes. Alpha Mechanical is an expert at HVAC systems and we have seen it all.

Contact us 916.848.5980 and we will get your heating system back to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What are bad inducer motor symptoms?

The most common signs of a bad inducer motor on furnace is the tapping noises that result from dirt or soot collected around the fan shaft. You may also hear vibrating noises or clicking noise, now these are the symptoms of BAD draft inducer motor.

Alpha Mechanical HVAC Company provides excellent customer service in the Sacramento area when it comes to furnace repairs or replacement.

How can I tell if my furnace inducer motor is overheating?

You may be thinking, “why is my furnace inducer motor hot?” Well, these motors are designed to run at high heat since they have to remove fumes and other bad gasses. Then new ones are equipped with the ability to shut down before they catch fire.

However, the most common reason for furnace inducer motor overheating is that there is a failure with fan blades or bearings and that is preventing it from running as it should.

Why do I hear furnace inducer motor noise when starting?

Here is an important furnace inducer motor troubleshooting tip: Pay attention to the sound from the unit. If you hear grinding noise, you will have to replace the furnace inducer motor because most likely something broke inside.

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