AC Fan is Not Working: DIY Series
Here in Florida, the cooling season is most of the year. That means your central air conditioning system is vital to your home comfort and If it is not working correctly, your house can become unbearably hot pretty quickly. Today we’re going to talk about a common problem AC System problem: What to do when your air conditioner’s fan is not working.
Your air conditioning system has two fans: one ac fan is located inside that blows cool air into your home and one ac fan located outside that blows over condenser coils in order to release heat from your home’s air. If either one of these fans are not working correctly your air conditioner will not cool your home properly. Let’s look at some of the common reasons that can cause your air conditioner fan to stop working and what you can do to resolve the issue!
5 Common Reasons Why Your Central AC Fan Is Not Working
- Capacitor problems: A capacitor stores up energy that is used to provide power to your air conditioner’s fans. For various reasons, your capacitor can go bad and stop working properly, which will force one of your system’s fans to stop spinning. Oftentimes a bad capacitor will need to be replaced by a professional.
- Contactor problems: An air conditioner contactor is an electrical switch that controls the compressor and condenser fan motor. It is common for the contactor to go bad over time, which restricts the outside fan from working properly. This is another part that must be replaced by a professional HVAC contractor.
- Burnt out motor: AC fan motors go through a lot of wear and tear, and they can burn out when they undergo too much stress. This is especially true for air conditioners that are not properly maintained. A bad fan motor is a serious issue that will either require professional repairs or a system replacement, depending on the age and condition of your system.
- Loose or broken belt: In older systems with belt-powered fans, the belt can get loose or break and cause the fan to stop spinning properly. This can be repaired, but it’s often a good sign that it’s time for a new air conditioner.
- Unit not receiving power: Some air conditioner fan problems might not be the fault of the fan’s assembly at all, but rather a power issue. Various parts of your air conditioner can overheat and trip your circuit breaker, forcing your air conditioner to shut down. If this is the case, you can flip the switch at your circuit breaker back on. However, repeated power issues should be looked at by a professional.
Avoid Fan Issues With Regular Maintenance
It’s important to note that many central air conditioner fan issues can be prevented by getting an annual air conditioner tune-up. The small amount of money you spend on an annual tune-up will pay off big-time in the future by avoiding potentially expensive fan repairs.
Anytime a homeowner wants to diagnose and repair their own air conditioner, we encourage you to consider how much a repair mistake could cost you. If you decide on checking the system yourself be sure to triple-check that power to the outside unit is off. Most central air conditioners have circuit breakers immediately next to exterior units and an additional breaker in the electrical inside your home. Make 100% certain that both off! If you are not completely comfortable we suggest that you contact a professional to help with diagnosing and repairing you AC fan issue.
Next make sure your air filter isn’t blocked. Sometimes that may be the only problem. Some customers don’t even know they have an air filter and it has never been checked. Try setting the thermostat fan switch to the “on” position. Feel for air coming out of the vents.
Please keep in mind that the information found on our website is provided free of charge and Velocity Air does not assume any liability resulting from the information we provide. We hope this information helps, but please note that these are just rough guidelines, and not all possible situations are covered. Your HVAC system should be inspected, repaired and maintained by a trained technician.
If your system is in the air conditioning mode, check for ice around the evaporator coil and on the refrigerant lines at the indoor unit. If the coil froze, the fan could be working but the air will not go through the ice until it melts. If the fan isn’t working, that can cause the coil to freeze. If the coil is frozen, shut off the air conditioning immediately.
Most AC fans are energized by a fan relay. This is probably the most common cause. The contacts inside the relay go bad. They usually stick open, never sending the signal to the motor. This is much easier and less expensive to repair than a motor going bad. A weak, faulty, or shorted capacitor can prevent the motor from running. And of course, the motor itself can always go bad. Sometimes the bearings seize. Or the motor just burns up or weakens.