Bearings are commonly found in AC systems and consist of ring-like parts with a set of enclosed balls. They are designed to reduce friction. Bearings fit over shafts to constrain motion while simultaneously providing a smoother method of operation.
Bearings can wear out. If your AC system has a worn bearing, you’ll need to get it replaced as soon as possible.
Where Are Bearings Located?
Different AC systems have bearings in different places. Many of them feature a bearing within the blower motor. The blower motor powers the blower, which forces air over the evaporator coil and through the ductwork.
Your AC system’s condenser fan may utilize a bearing as well. Like the blower, the condenser fan is designed to blow air. Blowers are located indoors, condenser fans are located outdoors.
In the past, condenser fans used a belt-driven motor, but most condenser fans today use a direct-drive motor. Direct-drive motors feature a bearing that can wear out.
Signs of Worn Bearings
How do you know if your AC system has a worn bearing? Unusual noises are one of the most common signs of a worn bearing. Since bearings allow parts to move more easily, when one fails, it will create resistance that manifests in the form of a screeching, squealing, or grinding sound.
Excessive vibrations may indicate a worn bearing as well. Blowers and condenser fans have moving parts and when a bearing seizes up or fails, these parts may move more rapidly. As a result, you may feel stronger-than-usual vibrations originating from the blower or condenser fan.
Common Causes of Worn Bearings
Bearings can wear out for a number of reasons. Insufficient lubrication can cause them to wear out. If a bearing loses most or all of its lubrication, it will become susceptible to friction damage. The bearing will wear down more quickly and generate more heat.
Dirt can also cause bearings to wear out. If dirt enters the blower or condenser fan, it may build up around the bearing. If left unchecked, the dirty bearing may fail. Dirt may stick to the bearing while degrading its surfaces.
Bearings are relatively easy to replace. Failure to replace a worn bearing can lead to other forms of damage such as your AC system’s blower or condenser fan needing to be replaced. This will cost more than replacing a worn bearing.
If you are experiencing a problem with your air conditioning or heating call us at 512-336-1431 to schedule an appointment. We’ll be glad to come out and take a look at the issue.
1431-183 A/C & Heating proudly serves Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Liberty Hill, and North Austin.