Prep for Winter: HVAC Blower Motor & Heating Repair Edition

As we head into the winter season, you may begin to notice your monthly household expenses gradually climbing. With nationwide energy rate hikes, record-breaking gas prices, and inflated costs of food and other essentials, these expenses quickly add up and can make a significant dent in your family’s budget. The growing cost of living in the U.S. shows no signs of slowing down, meaning all Americans are about to experience the most expensive winter of their lives. While the rising cost of essential commodities is inevitable, there are steps you can take to reduce their impact on your monthly budget. These small adjustments you can make in your home can help you combat the priciest winter of your life.

First, let’s take a look at exactly why this winter will be abnormally expensive.

Why are Winter Expenses Increasing?

It’s no secret that we’ve seen upward trends in the cost of goods and services this year. The rising prices of food, gas, and energy have consistently made headlines these past few months. This shift can be attributed to a variety of reasons. Between entering a recession in the summer of 2022, inflation, ongoing political crises, and lingering Covid-related supply chain issues, Americans have undeniably felt the effects on their wallets. Here, we’ll dig into exactly what’s causing these steep changes in monthly expenses.

Extreme Climates

Heating repair blower motor heater not working - White two-story house covered in snow

This year’s extreme temperatures and weather are predicted only to get worse as we move deeper into the winter. Extreme climates are money-drainers since they leave you with no option but to crank up the heat to keep your family comfortable and warm. Not only that, but being forced to stay inside means cooking consistently, lights staying on longer, increased water usage, and electronics working overtime. This will drive up all your utility bills significantly.

The Farmer’s Almanac’s Extended Forecast predicts that December will be colder than average and January will be even colder than December. They also forecast:

December 2022 looks stormy and cold nationwide with an active storm pattern developing and hanging around for most of the season over the eastern half of the country.

These extreme weather patterns will primarily affect the East Coast and Midwest, although Almanac predicts that “most of the U.S. will be colder than normal this winter.”

If you are located in any of these areas, be prepared for an exceptionally frigid winter:

  • Eastern Coastal States
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Texas
  • Deep South

Almanac also predicts that:

Snowfall will be greater than normal from central New England through northern North Carolina, from the Lower Great Lakes and the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys into the southern Plains, from the northern Plains into eastern Washington, and across the higher terrain of the southern Rockies and California.

The combination of these extreme temperatures, energy rate hikes, and upcoming storms, will make for a pricey winter season no matter where you are located in the United States. Follow along for tips to make your home and HVAC system more energy efficient to keep costs down.

Rising Energy Costs

Heater not working blower motor heating repair - Powerlines against a blue sky with clouds

Another reason you’ll be seeing record-breaking expenses this winter is the rising cost of energy. The cost of energy is increasing on a global level. Many countries have been paying and can expect to pay even higher prices for energy as we move into the new year.

This year, the price of natural gas has increased more quickly than diesel, crude oil, and gasoline. This past summer’s record-breaking temperatures and ongoing political crises have contributed to the rising demand for natural gas. Energy companies are paying higher prices to source natural gas and are then passing off these price increases to their customers to offset costs. This is why residents in almost every single state in the U.S. have seen surges in their energy bills.

Top 10 States with the Highest Average Energy Rate Hikes:

  1. New Hampshire: 77% (WMUR)
  2. Massachusetts: 64% (Boston)
  3. Maine: 50% (CBS News Center Maine)
  4. Rhode Island: 47% (WPRI)
  5. Maryland: 25% (Delmarva)
  6. New Jersey: 24% (NJ Spotlight News)
  7. California: 22% (California Globe)
  8. New York: 22% (NY1)
  9. Texas: 20% (Ecowatch)
  10. South Dakota: 20% (Keloland)

Energy Rate Hikes Across the Nation

Heater not working heating repair blower motor - Glass jar with coins spilling out


Talks of inflation have plagued the news this entire year and for good reason. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, the annual inflation rate for the 2022 year currently sits at 7.7% but peaked previously at 8.2%. This is exceptionally high compared to the average inflation rates for 2012 to 2020, which range from 0.7%-2.3%. That means the inflation rate has nearly tripled since 2021.

While the Consumer Price Index does show signs of inflation slowly plateauing and gradually trending down, the inflation rate as of October 2022 is still exceptionally high at 7.7%. Consumers should expect to pay heightened prices for goods through 2023.

How Can I Save Money This Winter?

Expensive winter blower motor heating repair heater not working - Map of U.S. energy rate hikes

In the winter, your energy bill is likely the leading cause of increased monthly expenses. With extreme weather conditions, heating your home can be very expensive. An easy way to reduce your energy bill and save money this winter is to make sure your HVAC system is running efficiently. HVAC maintenance is often overlooked, but regular care can help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.

Not only will regular maintenance reduce your monthly energy bills, but also help you avoid costly cooling, ventilation, and heating repairs in the future. You’ll also never have to worry about your heater not working in the winter or your air conditioning not working in the summer. Carefully maintaining your HVAC system will also extend the life of your equipment and prevent damage to the rest of your home.

How Can I Reduce my Winter HVAC Expenses?

To reduce winter HVAC expenses, you need to take the proper steps to ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible. This includes preventative HVAC maintenance like professional inspections, at-home inspections, changing your air filter, cleaning your air ducts, fixing leaks, and more.

Having a regular HVAC maintenance routine will help you reduce monthly bills, steer clear of cooling and heating repairs, avoid your heater not working, and extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment. This will also ensure that your family stays breathing clean air at a comfortable temperature all year long.

Though high energy bills are unpleasant, what’s more important is the comfort and safety of your family. Preventative HVAC care is crucial before and during the wintertime because regulating the temperature in your home can be a matter of health. You don’t want to get stuck with your heater not working while it’s 20 degrees outside and you have children or elderly family members in your home.

When this happens, the issue is no longer comfort, but safety. At its worst, cold weather can cause hypothermia, frostbite, joint ache, muscle pain, immunity problems, respiratory problems, and more. Having to live with your heater not working while you wait for an HVAC heating repair tech can seriously impact you and your family’s health. This is particularly true if you have children, elderly relatives, or immunocompromised family members in your home. To avoid needing heating repairs or your heater not working in the dead of winter, regular HVAC maintenance is a must.

Preventative HVAC Care

Preventative HVAC maintenance keeps your family safe. It also helps you avoid cooling and heating repairs and makes your equipment last longer. Many HVAC issues are easy to fix when you catch them early on. Otherwise, you’ll have to hire a professional HVAC service to resolve the issue and pay for expensive replacement parts. You don’t want this happening during the most expensive winter of your life. You also don’t want your heater not working during this exceptionally cold and snowy season.

Minor preventative costs, like new filters every 3 months and annual inspections, are nothing compared to the cost of buying a new system or paying for avoidable cooling and heating repairs. A new system will cost you thousands of dollars at the least, and that’s not including labor!

Your HVAC maintenance habits should be changing as the seasons change. Here are some fall and winter HVAC tips that are particularly important when you’re preparing for the colder months:

Fall HVAC Tips

  • Inspect your heating elements to ensure proper function.
  • Change your furnace filter.
  • Remove leaves and other debris from your outdoor AC unit.
  • Patch up insulation.
  • Calibrate your thermostat and review the settings.
  • Check that your blower motor is lubricated.
  • Check that your blower motor belt is functioning properly.
  • Wipe dust from your blower motor’s fan blades.
  • Make any necessary heating repairs before winter arrives.

Winter HVAC Tips

  • Check for leaks and standing water that may freeze.
  • Change your furnace filter.
  • Book a furnace tune-up.
  • Get a cover for your outdoor AC condenser.
  • Close your chimney flue if you do not use your fireplace.
  • Check that your blower motor is lubricated.
  • Check that your blower motor belt is functioning properly.
  • Wipe dust from your blower motor’s fan blades.

Common Winter HVAC Maintenance Issues

One of the most common winter HVAC issues is low efficiency. Low efficiency means your HVAC system is slow to heat up or cool down your indoor air. This is common when temperatures are extreme, so watch out for low efficiency this winter.

If air is being pumped through your HVAC system at a slower rate than normal, chances are your air filter is clogged. It’s important to change your filters every 3 months to ensure that your blower motor isn’t working harder than it needs to. Your blower motor is the device that circulates air through your ductwork. Clogged air filters make your blower motor work extra hard to move air through the ducts. If you have an extremely clogged filter, your blower motor may have a very difficult time pushing air through. This could overheat your blower motor and permanently damage or entirely break the machine.

If your blower motor breaks, you’ll likely find your heater not working and have to call an HVAC technician to make heating repairs. This can be very costly and also a health hazard in the winter. Be sure to change your air filters and get your air ducts cleaned regularly to avoid this.

Another common winter HVAC issue is a dusty furnace. A furnace is much less efficient when it’s dusty because dust will collect on the cooling coils on the inside. When the coils are covered in dust, it decreases their ability to transfer heat. Dust makes the furnace inefficient because the coils have to work harder and longer to warm up the air. This takes extra energy, which reflects in your monthly energy bill. In extreme cases of dust build-up, heat gets trapped inside the furnace. In this case, the furnace equipment will overheat and the whole furnace will shut off. You’ll then find your heater not working and have to pay expensive heating repair costs.

Avoiding Heating Repair Costs

If you want to avoid expensive heating repair costs or more serious issues like your heater not working, you need to have an HVAC maintenance routine. You need to perform at-home inspections on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis, and also get your entire system inspected professionally once a year.

One of the healthiest things you can do for your HVAC system is regularly replace your air filters. Air filters get clogged over time and need to be changed every 3 months. Not changing your air filters can cause issues in your HVAC equipment later down the line. You don’t want issues like your heater not working to surprise you in the middle of the winter. Keeping a steady supply of new air filters on hand can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Filterbuy has an auto-delivery subscription program where you can get the highest quality U.S.-made air filters delivered to your door exactly when you need them. Choose from 600+ filter sizes across 3 different MERV ratings, plus Odor Eliminator options. If you can’t find your size, we can make filters to custom-fit your needs. The best part is that all Filterbuy orders ship for free!

If you’re looking for other easy ways to avoid expensive heating repairs this winter and make your HVAC system more efficient, Filterbuy LOCAL offers air duct cleaning services. Our pricing is guaranteed and our technicians are EPA certified! Click here to get a quote!