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Noisy squirell cage blower

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  • Noisy squirell cage blower

    My horizontal attic mounted York air handler started making rumbling sounds the other day. It's about 18 years old....A/C only.
    I pulled off a side panel to find, inside the squirrel cage, a felt gasket strip about an inch wide by a foot long. I removed it, and the fan ran quietly. But it seems to be making a faint whining sound now. I'm concerned this is going to get worse.

    Can someone explain to me what the felt did, how to get it back where it belongs. The fan housing looked to be riveted together.

    Or should I be looking at replacing the whole blower assembly.
    I can't afford a complete system replacement at this time.

    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    Re: Noisy squirell cage blower

    is the noise you hear air whisling thougt an opening or is the motor??
    check and see if there is oil ports on motor and oil them it might help

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    • #3
      Re: Noisy squirell cage blower

      Originally posted by jbateman View Post
      My horizontal attic mounted York air handler started making rumbling sounds the other day. It's about 18 years old....A/C only.
      I pulled off a side panel to find, inside the squirrel cage, a felt gasket strip about an inch wide by a foot long. I removed it, and the fan ran quietly.


      But it seems to be making a faint whining sound now. I'm concerned this is going to get worse

      Can someone explain to me what the felt did, how to get it back where it belongs. The fan housing looked to be riveted together.

      Or should I be looking at replacing the whole blower assembly.
      I can't afford a complete system replacement at this time.

      Thanks for any advice.
      this was from the door gasket and got into the fan

      this is air getting sucked in because no gasket on door
      the motors are sealed no oil

      if it is the motor then all you have to do is change the motor
      Last edited by HVAC HAWK; 06-04-2007, 09:24 PM.
      Charlie

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      • #4
        Re: Noisy squirell cage blower

        2 things w/ squirrel cage blower:
        1. Blades are sharp and nasty. Almost lost a finger because of an infection I got from a small cut. Wear at least a dust mask because it has some nasty stuff that becomes airborne.
        2. There are small metal clips on the blades. Do not mess w/ these. They are a counter weight to make the blower run smooth.

        An 18 yr fan motor might have oil ports. Use 2 drops of 3n1 oil. No motor oil. If the noise is from your motor, kiss it goodbye. I think HAWK is on the right track w/ the whistling noise coming from the broken gasket.

        Motor rumbling noise is often caused by loose mounts or misaligned belts(possible in your case but unlikely). An 18 yr york is likely on its last legs. Save up the money now. Get your indoor (evaporator) unit and your outdoor(condensor) unit changed at the same time. Do not do it seperatly. It's like putting a ford engine in a chevy. It can be done, but it'll never run right.
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

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        • #5
          Re: Noisy squirell cage blower

          Thank you for your replies so far.
          After running it more, the whining sound does not appear to be an air leak.
          If I leave the blower off all day, then let it start cycling on and off in the evening, it stays quiet for an hour or more, then gradually produces more noise the longer it's on. If it was air leaking it should be all the time, I would think.

          So the blower motor probably is on it's way out. If need be I'll replace it this year, then aim for an entire modern system next year.

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          • #6
            Re: Noisy squirell cage blower

            With a totally new system you'll enjoy lower electric bills. I hope your attic is well ventilated. Attics get hotter than the bad place if they aren't well aired out in the summer during a sunny day.

            Check with your electric company as sometimes they give rebates or lower rates if your new system meets certain energy use requirements.

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            • #7
              Re: Noisy squirell cage blower

              The IRS was giving tax breaks on people who upgraded to 13 seer unit. Not sure if it still applies.
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

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