Furnace Blower Bearings: Oil Type vs Cartridge Type

Heaters are machines composed of many parts, one of which is the furnace blower that blows hot air into the environment.  This part generally gets very hot because of the constant exposure to heat for a long time and needs additional care and maintenance. Bearings are installed in order to provide for easy and effective working of the furnace blower facilitating unhindered relative motion. Different types of bearings are used for different designs as they drastically affect the reliability, accuracy and speed of operation. Quantitatively, the bearings that are used the most are the oil type and the cartridge type.

Differences in Characteristics

The oil type bearings come under the category of fluid bearings and are meant to work in conditions requiring high lead and high speeds. They require only a thin layer of a liquid (oil in this case) for working. The disadvantage of this form of bearing is that they have a short life span, loud noise and have a tendency to vibrate, which is detrimental for many furnace blowers. By comparison, a cartridge type bearing has been found to be capable of carrying approximately 50% more load and can provide much better performances.


The oil type bearings are used mostly in the industries where heavy machinery is put to work for very long durations. These bearings are lubricated from time to time to replace the oil lost due to the excess heat generated. The cartridge bearings are used for smaller machines and equipment which are used more commonly and cannot be kept under constant maintenance. It is important to state here, that for different reasons and uses, it is difficult to justify whether one is better than the other.

Price Range

The price for both the furnace blower bearings depends on their size and dimension. In some cases, the prices may also vary due to the complexity of design to suit the needs of the machine. For two similar bearings with similar sizes and complexities, there is not much difference in the price tags, hence price is again not a criterion for choosing one over the other. The best way is to contact a salesperson dealing with these items in the market.

On the whole, both the bearings are very specific to their working environment. It is hard to compare the two on the prospects of which should be used over the other. Even though these are specific to their domains, there are areas wherein they can be used in substitution for each other. These items can easily be replaced and are sold under the category of spare parts. Technicians are available everywhere who deal in both the forms of bearings and can replace, fix or maintain them for nominal service charges. Subject to the characteristics of the machine and the way it operates, choose the one that is more applicable. You always has the option of replacing one with the other if things don’t work the way you want them to.