April 18, 2024

Air conditioners (ACs) come with two fans, which include one on the inside of your home and one on the outside. The indoor AC fan is responsible for circulating air over your refrigerant coils. It cools the air before it’s sent through your ventilation ducts. As for the outdoor AC fan, it blows air over warmer refrigerant, removing heat so your system can keep your home cool. When either of these fans fails to work, it will affect the AC’s ability to cool your home. Knowing how to detect a fan problem and troubleshooting methods can help resolve the issue more efficiently. Here are nine common reasons your air conditioner fan might not work.

1. Malfunctioning Capacitor

The air conditioner’s capacitor is essential for providing the initial jolt of electricity to start the fan motor. When the capacitor malfunctions, the fan may not start at all or may struggle to start. You could be having problems with the capacitor if you hear a humming sound from the outdoor unit without the fan turning or the fan makes a clicking noise but won’t spin.

To diagnose a malfunctioning capacitor, technicians usually use a multimeter to test its capacitance. If the capacitor is indeed faulty, they will remove and replace it. Besides, it is important to remedy this issue quickly so that the fan motor doesn’t sustain damage, requiring a more costly repair.

2. Thermostat Issues

The thermostat is the control center for your air conditioning system. It turns the cooling system on and off to maintain the temperature you’ve set. If the thermostat isn’t working properly, it may fail to signal the air conditioner to turn on. This especially happens if the malfunction isn’t in the wiring but in the operational components, like the temperature sensor or another electronic component.

Some common issues your thermostat might have include a misconfigured or outdated thermostat, dead batteries or faulty wiring. Sometimes, a recalibration process is all you will need to get things back on track, and other times, replacing the battery handles things perfectly. But when your thermostat is beyond these simple solutions, you must call a professional to replace your system.

3. Circuit Breaker Is Tripped

This may sound basic, but a tripped circuit breaker can shut the whole system down. Your air conditioner’s fan needs that electrical current to keep it spinning. Circuit breakers are designed to trip when they detect electrical overloads or short circuits, which protects your home’s electrical system from damage.

When this happens, first locate your home’s electrical panel and check for tripped breakers. If you find one, reset it by switching it off and back on. If the breaker continues to trip repeatedly, it is a sign of a serious electrical problem. Shut the system off and call a professional HVAC technician from Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating to help you.

4. Frozen Evaporator Coil

If the evaporator coil in your air conditioner freezes, it can prevent the fan from blowing air effectively. A number of issues can cause the evaporator coil to freeze, including restricted airflow, low refrigerant levels or a dirty coil. Fixing an evaporator coil that has iced over will require you to turn off your air conditioner and let the ice thaw. Once the ice has completely thawed, our HVAC technicians can inspect your air conditioning system. Whether it requires cleaning the coils properly, adding refrigerant to the proper level or repairing leaks in the system, they will determine the cause and fix it.

5. Contactor Problems

The contactor in an air conditioner is a small device that is responsible for controlling the flow of electricity in your system. When you set the temperature on your thermostat, contactors conduct and restrict electrical currents that tell your air conditioner whether or not it should operate.

But how do these parts burn out? Well, like any part of any system, contactors wear out with age. Another way contactors get burnt out is when your AC system overheats. When this happens, the electrical flow of your system is interrupted and the adjacent AC components will not receive the electricity that they require and, therefore, will not operate. Besides, there are times when contactors can get stuck in the “up” or “down” position. If they get stuck in the “up” position, they won’t stop the electrical flow. In contrast, if it’s in the “down” position, the contactor will continue to run electricity to the components even if the cooling cycle has finished or, in some cases, is not supposed to be running at that time.

Therefore, if your AC fan is not working, it might be because the contactors controlling electricity to your AC fan are stuck in the “up” position or have burnt out. For this reason, Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating recommends always ensuring that you perform general maintenance on your system so you can prolong its life. However, if you think you might be having AC system issues related to a bad contactor, it’s never too late to call a technician from Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating since just a simple repair now might save a full replacement of AC parts later.

6. Air Filter Is Blocked

A dirty air filter is another common and easy-to-fix situation that sometimes results in your air conditioner fan not working. The air filter protects the system’s internal coils and the blower fan from dust, dirt and other airborne particulates. This keeps the coils cleaner and indoor air fresher. A clogged air filter restricts airflow so much that it might feel like your indoor fan isn’t properly circulating air. In many cases, restricted airflow shuts the entire system down. Luckily, simply cleaning or replacing the air filter should get the fan blowing again.

7. Broken Fan Blade

If your system suddenly starts making unusual sounds or vibrating, it could be that a fan blade in the outdoor unit is broken. A broken fan blade may be out of balance and strike other components in the compressor unit. To troubleshoot, you must first turn off your system, go to the outdoor unit and look through the top to see if the fan blades are intact. If a blade is broken or damaged, don’t try to restart your system; instead, call a professional to help with the repair.

8. Dirty Bearings

The fan motor spins thanks to the bearings in the motor. Those bearings can become dirty or dry out and create friction, which can cause the fan to produce some noise or stop working. Lubricating old bearings or replacing them can fix this issue and get your fan back working.

9. Wiring Problems

Faulty or loose wiring can prevent the fan from getting power to the fan motor. This can be due to poor installation, rodents chewing through the wires or simple wear and tear that occurs over time. Electrical problems can be dangerous, so it’s best to have a professional diagnose and repair a wiring problem.

When to Call the Professionals

Do you have an AC fan that isn’t working? Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating can find the problem and make sure it’s handled quickly. We handle repairs on every type of air conditioner, no matter the brand. In addition to AC and heating repairs, we also offer indoor air quality, duct cleaning and plumbing services. If you reside in Columbia, Hanover and the surrounding areas, contact us today at Beltway Air Conditioning & Heating to book an appointment.

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