When Your Furnace Needs A New Fan Belt

Furnace repairs may seem like a mystery to you. While it is recommended that you leave furnace repairs to the pros, it can be reassuring to learn a little more about them so you have a better understanding of what your HVAC contractor is doing when they're working on your home. One of the most common repairs HVAC contractors make is replacing the fan belts on furnaces. Here's a closer look at this type of repair.

What are the signs of a broken fan belt?

How do you, as a homeowner, know your furnace needs its fan belt replaced? The first indication is usually a loud squealing or squeaking noise. This often starts off really loud when the furnace fan first kicks on. The noise may grow quieter as the furnace continues running, but it picks up again once the furnace fan slows down and stops blowing as much. At first, your furnace will work fine in spite of the noise. But eventually, you may notice that the amount of air coming out of the vents reduces. If the belt actually snaps, you won't feel any air coming out of the vents.

What does the fan belt do?

The fan belt is what drives the motor of the blower unit, also known as your central fan. The central fan is the HVAC component that blows your heated air through the ducts. This same fan usually blows the air-conditioned air in the summer. So if your fan belt breaks and your heat stops working, your AC usually won't work, either.

How do HVAC technicians deal with a broken fan belt?

If you catch the problem really early, the HVAC contractor may be able to simply repair the tears in the fan belt. However, the more common approach is for them to simply remove the old belt and put a new one in place. They have to remove a few bolts and screws in order to do this, but it's not an overly complex repair. Most furnaces require fan belts that are made by the original manufacturer, but some will work with OEM parts, which are usually a little cheaper.

If you think your furnace's fan belt may be frayed, worn, or snapped, contact an HVAC contractor. You now have a better idea of what's wrong, why it's an issue, and what your furnace repair expert can do about it. Reach out to a local service, such as Bill Rhiner's Plumbing Heating & Cooling, to learn more.