The blower wheel is a part of the blower assembly in an HVAC unit, and it helps air flow through the unit. Blower wheels that have become dirty can decrease the life of a furnace by reducing airflow, causing the compressor to fail, and can also increase the cost of running the unit. Dirty blower wheels can become unbalanced and put stress on the motor. This can sometimes be observed by increased sound when the unit is in operation.
Common Types Of Blower Wheels
There are many variations of blower wheels used in heating and cooling units. Some types of blower wheels include squirrel cage, paddle wheel, radial wheel, tabbed, forward curve, backward curve, and many others. Blower wheels may be concave or convex, and double-inlet or single-inlet. Blower wheels may be made of steel, aluminum, plastic or other materials. Before purchasing a replacement blower wheel, make sure that it's the correct size and type, and can handle the correct number of RPMs for your unit.
How To Buy A Replacement Blower Wheel
Dirty blower wheels can often be cleaned as a part of a servicing but are also inexpensive to replace if they become damaged. You should be comfortable working with your heating and cooling system before attempting to clean or replace the blower wheel. To remove or replace the blower wheel, turn the unit's power off, short the capacitor (such as with an insulated screwdriver), then remove the wires from the blower assembly. On the underside of the blower assembly is a set screw, known as the "hub," which holds the motor shaft and blower wheel together.
Who Makes Blower Wheels?
Blower wheels are typically available from the manufacturer of the HVAC unit and from third-party sources. Manufacturers of blower wheels include Carrier, Teledyne Laars, ProTech and others. Many online stores carry uncommonly found blower wheels for older or discontinued units. Some vendors will also make blower wheels if the type needed is unavailable. You will typically need to provide sizing information to receive a quote for a custom blower wheel.