Many newer furnaces contain a component known as a draft inducer. The job of this component is to help move exhaust gases out of your home as quickly as possible through the chimney or flue. This keeps potentially deadly substances from hanging around too long. Not only that, but it also boosts your furnace's overall efficiency by increasing the rate of airflow through your heat exchanger.
Of course, like all furnace components, a draft inducer is bound to develop certain issues over time. For that reason, it is good to be able to recognize the signs that something isn't quite right with your draft inducer. If you would like to learn more about furnace troubleshooting, read on. This article will discuss two of the most common draft inducer problems.
First it will help to understand a little bit more about how the draft inducer works. This component is usually located inside of the gas burner compartment. It essentially amounts to a small, electrically powered fan sitting inside of the exhaust flue. When the furnace comes on, an electrical signal tells the fan to start up as well. This ensures that exhaust gases will be vacated as quickly and efficiently as possible. In order for the draft inducer to do its job, it must be sized correctly with regard to factors such as:
- vent pipe diameter
- furnace wattage
- physical dimensions inside of the gas burner compartment
Problem 1: Excessive Noise
A draft inducer that seems to be generating an unusual amount of noise may have one of two things going on. First, it may be experiencing some form of physical blockage. This can be the result of bird or rodent infestation (especially if you're starting your furnace up for the first time in the heating season), or it may be that some other internal component has come loose and is blocking the inducer's free movement.
Loud or unusual noises can also be the result of a damaged or degraded blower wheel. This generally entails that the entire blower wheel be replaced. Fortunately, this is not as expensive as having to replace the entire draft inducer--or even just the motor.
Problem 2: Motor heats up but won't turn.
If you can feel that your draft inducer motor is becoming hot, yet it does not seem to be spinning, chances are the bearings inside of the motor assembly have failed. This is a serious problem--one that generally means the entire inducer assembly will need to be replaced. It may be possible to restore functionality by oiling the bearings, yet this solution generally only works for a few days.
For more information and help with maintaining the draft inducer, talk with a professional home furnace repair company.