The click and whir of an AC unit turning on may not be the most pleasant sound, but on a hot day it is music to the ears. In Florida and other places known for their year-round warm climates, it’s the sound of comfort and relief from the often torturous sun. A working AC fan, therefore, is an essential part of having a comfortable home.
The fan in your air conditioner’s condenser unit (the big box outside) blows air across the condenser’s coils, enabling it to turn warm refrigerant gas into a cool liquid, which it then uses to create cool air for your home. If the fan on your AC unit has stopped working, the system will be unable to cool your home until it is fixed.
5 Reasons Why Your AC Fan is Not Spinning
1. Bad Capacitor
One potential reason for your AC fan to stop working is a bad capacitor. The capacitor is a small, cylindrical device that provides energy to your AC unit’s motor. It is responsible for starting up the AC unit and providing additional power as needed to keep the unit running.
Signs of a bad capacitor include:
- AC having trouble turning on
- AC shutting off on its own
- AC not blowing cold air
- AC makes a humming sound
You can test the capacitor by using a screwdriver or a small stick. Gently slide the stick between the vents and give the fan blade a slight push. If the fan starts up and keeps spinning on its own, the capacitor is bad.
2. Broken Motor
The condenser fan motor on your AC unit is what turns the blades of the fan in order to blow outside air across the AC condenser coils. This process converts hot refrigerant gas into a cool liquid, ultimately providing cool air for your home. A faulty motor is a common culprit when your AC unit’s fan stops spinning and should be repaired or replaced immediately since it will affect your entire system’s performance.
Related: How to Check if AC Fan Motor is Bad
3. Contactor Problems
An AC contactor is a small device that controls the flow of electricity throughout your AC unit. When you set the temperature on your thermostat, these small parts are responsible for conducting and restricting the electrical currents that tell your air conditioner whether or not it should operate.
Often enough, contactors burn out due to normal wear and tear or if your system overheats. When a contactor burns out, the electrical flow of your system is inhibited and the adjacent AC components will not receive electricity, causing them not to function.
Contactors can also become stuck in an “up” or “down” position. When stuck in the “up” position, the electrical flow is blocked between components, whereas contactors stuck in the “down” position will continue running electricity to their components even when the cooling cycle is supposed to end.
If your AC fan has stopped spinning, it may be because the contactors controlling electricity to your AC fan are stuck in the “up” position or are burnt out. Proper maintenance is essential to keep your contactors in healthy working condition, but sometimes repair might be necessary.
4. Broken Belt
Most newer AC units don’t rely on a belt system but instead use direct motors. However, in older units, a broken belt might be responsible for your fan not working properly. As AC belts age, they become more susceptible to fraying, tearing, and other damage. If your belt has gone bad it will make unusual clanging, clicking, or harsh squeaking sounds. A broken belt will prevent your system — including the AC fan — from working properly.
5. Broken Fan Blades
Another possible reason your AC fan isn’t working is due to damaged fan blades. The fan blades are generally visible through the vents of your outdoor unit. If any of the blades look bent, cracked, loose, or otherwise damaged, we advise keeping your system off until a licensed HVAC professional can inspect and repair the unit.
If You Need to Repair or Replace Your AC, We Can Help
At Complete Air Mechanical, our experienced team of HVAC technicians are available to inspect, repair, or even replace your system. If you’re having trouble with your AC fan, we’ve got you covered. We provide services in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties, and we offer financing options.