The blower is an important part of a residential heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system. Consisting of a motor and fan, it’s responsible for circulating conditioned air into the ductwork. When your furnace or air conditioning system turns on, the blower will activate. It will blow the warm or cool air into the ductwork so that your home maintains a comfortable indoor temperature.
If you currently have a belt-drive blower, though, you may want to upgrade to a direct-drive blower. Belt-drive and direct-drive blowers are both designed to circulate conditioned air, but the latter doesn’t require a belt. What are the benefits of a direct-drive blower exactly?
Since they don’t require a belt, direct-drive blowers take up less space. They can fit into smaller spaces than their belt-drive counterparts. Air Handling Units (AHUs) are commonly used to house blowers. Direct-drive blowers are smaller, so they can fit into many small AHUs that may not support larger belt-drive blowers.
Direct-drive blowers require less maintenance than belt-drive blowers. They have fewer parts, meaning there are fewer parts to maintain. Direct-drive blowers still have a fan and motor – just like belt-drive fans. The difference is that direct-drive blowers feature a fan connected directly to the motor. In comparison, belt-drive blowers feature a fan connected to a belt that’s connected to the motor.
Direct-drive blowers are more reliable than belt-drive blowers. Blowers can succumb to mechanical failure. And if the blower fails, your HVAC system won’t be able to cool or warm your home. Fortunately, direct-drive blowers are highly reliable. They use a simple design in which the fan is directly connected to the motor, hence the name “direct-drive blower.”
If you’re experiencing problems with your HVAC system’s belt-drive blower, upgrading to a direct-drive blower may be the answer. It’s a simpler, more reliable type of blower that’s better protected against failure.
You might be surprised to learn that direct-drive blowers are more efficient than belt-drive blowers. Whether direct drive or belt drive, nearly all new blowers are more efficient than old blowers. For maximum efficiency, though, you should choose a direct-drive blower.
Direct-drive blowers are more efficient than belt-drive blowers because they don’t lose energy from friction. Both types of blowers consume energy to turn the fan, but belt-drive blowers lose some of their energy during this conversion process through friction. The friction of the belt makes them less efficient than direct drive blowers.