If your air conditioner makes a squealing noise when the blower kicks on, the problem could be a bad belt. Not all air conditioners have belts, but if yours has a belt-driven blower motor, the belt will probably need to be replaced at some point. This is how a blower belt works, signs the belt is bad, and how an air conditioning repair technician replaces the belt.
How The Blower Belt In Your AC Works
The blower in your air conditioner is a type of fan that creates the air that comes out of your registers. The blower fan gets the power to spin from a motor, and the blower belt connects the motor to the blower fan. The motor spins a pulley wheel on one end of the belt and causes the fan to spin on the other end.
How To Tell When A Blower Belt Is Bad
A blower belt usually wears down before it breaks completely. As it wears down, it gets loose and doesn't control the blower as effectively. This can cause your AC to work harder and be less efficient. You might notice an increase in your power bill.
A sign of a bad belt that isn't as easy to overlook is when the belt makes a squealing noise every time the AC kicks on. You may also notice the belt looks worn. It might have cracks, frays, and loose tension. If the belt snaps, the blower fan won't turn, and your AC won't put out any air. The only thing that might happen is that you'll hear a humming noise when the AC kicks on.
How A Blower Belt Is Replaced
A bad belt has to be replaced. This is a quick and easy job if that's the only repair that has to be done. The bad belt is removed by pulling it as the belt moves around a pulley. The air conditioning repair technician puts a new belt on by winding it around the pulley as the pulley is moved by hand.
Getting the tension on the belt just right is an important step in replacing a blower belt. The belt might have the right amount of tension as soon as it's put on. If not, the AC repair technician can adjust the position of the plate the motor rests on. Moving the plate away from the fan or closer to it affects the tension of the belt and makes it possible to create the amount of tension necessary for efficient operation of the fan.
A bad belt could be a sign of a neglected air conditioner. Normally, a worn belt is noticed and replaced during your annual service call. If a belt is so bad that it squeals or snaps, it could be a sign other parts of the blower assembly need to be checked, cleaned, lubricated, and possibly repaired too.