Noisy Gas Fireplace Blower? Here’s How to Replace it
A professional fireplace service company charges about $400 to do the job (parts and labor). But you can replace the blower with a complete motor/fan blower assembly yourself in about an hour for less than $140.
Many gas fireplaces use a blower to drive warm air out into the room. They also have a fan speed adjustment switch so you can strike a balance between blower speed and noise level. But if the fan gets loaded with dust or the motor bearings wear, the blower will make a rumbling noise at all speeds. Sometimes it's possible to remove the blower and clean the fan blades to quiet it. But if the blower still makes noise, it's time to replace it.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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Step 1: Identify the fireplace air blower
Tilt out the bottom grille and shine a light inside the unit. Then snap a digital photo of the blower assembly. Locate the nameplate on the bottom of the air intake and write down the brand and model number of your fireplace.
Then order a replacement blower from an authorized dealer or an online supplier. If your blower runs but is noisy, buy just the motor/fan assembly. However, if the motor doesn’t run at all, chances are it has a bad temp sensor or speed switch. In that case, buy a complete kit. We bought just the blower for the 14-year-old Heat & Glo gas fireplace shown here.
Step 2: Remove the old fireplace air blower
Photo 1: Remove the front panel
Lift the front panel straight up to unhook it from the side pins. Then pull it straight out and set it aside.
Photo 2: Suck out the dust bunnies
Use a shop vacuum to clean the area in front of the old blower. You’ll have to vacuum again once the blower is out, but at least you’ll keep most of the dust out of the room.
Photo 3: Slide out the old blower
Pull the blower toward the front of the fireplace. Then rotate it so it clears the grille opening. If you need more clearance, remove the rubber feet.
Photo 4: Position the new blower
Roll the blower through the grille area and position it with the blower outlet pointing up. Push it all the way to the back of the fireplace until it contacts the back wall. Then pull it forward 1/4 in. to prevent vibration noise.
Shut off the circuit breaker and use a voltage sniffer to confirm the power is off. Don’t just use the wall switch. Then open the bottom grille. If it doesn’t look like you’ll have enough room to remove the blower, try removing the front panel (Photo 1). Next, clean the area in front of the blower with a shop vacuum (Photo 2).
If you’ve ordered a complete kit, unplug the old blower and disconnect the temperature sensor mounted on the bottom of the firebox. The sensor is held in place with a magnet, clip or screw. Then disconnect the speed control switch and remove the old blower (Photo 3). Clean the air intake area again. Then install the new blower (Photo 4). Reinstall the kit’s new temperature sensor and speed switch and plug in the blower.
Step 3: Test and adjust
Turn on the power and fire up the burners. Wait for the firebox to heat up enough for the blower to turn on (about 10 minutes). Then adjust the fan speed to your liking and reinstall the front panel (if equipped) and grille.
Cleaning a Blower
Dust bunnies can accumulate on the blades of a fireplace fan and throw it out of balance. That causes vibration, noise and premature bearing wear. Cleaning a fireplace blower every few years keeps it running quieter and longer.
Remove the blower and suck out as much dust as possible with a shop vacuum. Gently brush across the fan blades with an old toothbrush, taking care not to bend the blades. Then vacuum a second time. Reposition the blower and test it for noise and smooth operation. If it runs without vibration, it’s good for another heating season.