The AC fan is an essential component of any Air Conditioning System. If the fan is faulty or worn out, it will likely need replacement than repair.
However, there are some options that you can check before calling an HVAC professional. Doing a regular maintenance checkup is necessary to make your AC perform better and longer.
Air Conditioning systems are very integral for people who live in warmer regions. When the AC system suddenly stopped working, it can impact someone’s overall productivity, especially when the warm weather causes too much discomfort. One of the common problems encountered by users is when the AC fan suddenly stopped working.
What Does The Air Conditioner Fan Do?
The AC Fan motor is one of the vital parts of the whole air conditioning system. It is the one component that facilitates air circulation. The air needs to be moved around to get the cooling effect, and the fan is what makes the air move. When the fan doesn’t move, the entire AC system stops functioning.
It will fail to maintain or cool down the temperature in the designated area.
An AC fan motor blows the warm air into the condenser coils to cool it down. Once cooled, it blows and disperses the cold air back into the target area. This process will continue until the desired temperature dictated in the thermostat is reached.
Why Is It Important To Keep AC Fans In Good Shape?
Just like any mechanical component, the AC fan can get damaged due to wear and tear. It is one of the parts that need regular maintenance to keep it running securely and efficiently. Regular maintenance minimizes the chance that your fan, and your whole AC system, goes into an unexpected halt.
Regular maintenance will also make your AC fans live longer. As long as you keep it in good condition, the effect of wear and tear can be minimized. Eventually, the AC fan will give up and needs to be replaced, but you will get more use out of this component in a long while.
Warning Signs That Your AC Fan Is Failing Or Broken
If you pay enough attention, you should notice a few warning signs indicating that there’s something wrong with your AC fans. There are high chances that these signs will manifest first before the eventual component breakdown. Before it happens, you can prepare for the inevitable by tuning in to these common warning signs.
The Fan Is Making Weird Noises While Running
The air conditioning system can make different noises, indicating possible other problems. However, if the noises are coming from the condenser unit, and it’s either a rattling or buzzing noise, then it might be your motor blades starting to malfunction. Turn your AC off to avoid further damages to the device.
The Fan Runs, Then Stops
There are instances when the fan starts as usual but suddenly turns off on its own. In this situation, there are many things at play that might affect your AC fans. Usually, this behavior’s culprit is overheating or when it’s too hot for your AC to operate normally.
It is one of the most manageable considerations and can be fixed by turning off the device and let it rest.
The Fan Does Not Produce Cold Airflow
In this case, the fan starts up as intended and without any significant problems. It also doesn’t stop due to overheating. The problem this time is that it doesn’t produce a cold airflow and is unable to change the temperature. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that the air filter is clogged or a problem with the thermostat.
The Fan Rotation Is Slow
When you boot up your system and the fan rotates slow, even if it is turned on correctly. This experience can be very frustrating since the slow rotation generates an airflow that is not enough to make the system works as intended. Before doing anything else, check if your fan settings are not at low speed.
The AC Fan Doesn’t Spin At All
And last but not least, if your AC fan doesn’t spin at all, it might be an indicator of a bigger problem. When the fan doesn’t spin, there is always a possibility that other components are not functioning correctly. But that does not eliminate the possibility that the fan already reached its useful life cycle.
6 Reasons Why your AC Fan Not Spinning
There are numerous possibilities as to why your AC would suddenly stop spinning. Some cases would only require a few cleaning operations and are pretty doable even for the inexperienced user.
Unfortunately, just like all things HVAC, there are specific components that you should not touch at all and leave to the hands of a professional.
1. Damaged Condenser Fan Motor
The condenser fan motor is located at the AC’s condensing unit (or the outdoor portion of your AC). Check for the outside condenser fan motor and see if there is any vibration or noise.
If there’s any vibration, the fan might be out of balance and needs realignment. But if it doesn’t spin at all, your condenser fan motor is likely burnt out and needs replacement.
2. Evaporator Coil Is Frozen
The evaporator coil is responsible for getting out the heat and humidity in the designated indoor area. When this malfunctions, it can suck up colder air and get frozen in the process. If this operation halts, the blower fan will stop running as well.
Unfortunately, this can be due to component malfunctions (like low refrigerant charge or a faulty indoor blower fan.)
3. Faulty Contactor
A contactor is a switch that controls the flow of electricity on each AC component. One of its functions is to send a bit of voltage to jumpstart the condenser unit and make the fan run.
When the contactor malfunctions, it cannot send any voltage to the condenser, resulting in the fan not spinning or functioning correctly. Faulty contactors need to be replaced so that the fan can operate again.
4. Dead Capacitor
Similar to the contactor, the capacitor is another component that sends power to the fans. It powers the fan motor and provides continuous energy to keep it running. When the capacitor malfunctions, it can either cause the fan to stop running or cause the AC to blow warm air.
5. The Air Filter Is Blocked
When any air filters are dirty and clogged, it can restrict the whole system’s airflow. This will seem like the fan is not working correctly. If the clog is too much, it can even shut down the entire system. The easiest fix to this problem is to replace the dirty air filter.
6. Physical Damages
There are instances wherein the fan is physically damaged and cannot function properly. Before inspecting, turn the thermostat off, as this can cause damage to you and the AC system. Check for physical impairments, and if there are any, contact an HVAC professional.
What Do You Do When Your AC Fan Stops Working?
Unfortunately, only a few things that inexperienced users can do when it comes to HVAC problems. In most cases, it is advisable to seek advice and help from your nearby HVAC service provider. But there are a few things you can do to check if the problem is unrelated to the fan or caused by other external factors.
Check Your Circuit Breaker
If you’re lucky, the cause of the problem can be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker. You can check your circuit breaker if it’s overheating. Usually, this makes the whole AC unit stop. Just flip the switch if it’s turned off, and you’re ready to go.
Clean The Air Filter
As mentioned before, the air filter can clog the system and render everything to a halt. The air filter is usually neglected by most homeowners, which is why unwanted clog happens. Usually, it is better to buy a new one and replace the dirty unit. Even an inexperienced user can easily replace a dirty air filter as long as you have the right tools.
Is The Outdoor Unit Working?
The condensing unit can become the cause of the problem. Check if there are unusual noises, especially to the fan motor. If you can, try to look at the vents and see if the fan is turning at all. There are instances when the fa motor gets faulty.
Is The Thermostat Configured Properly?
And last but not least, check your thermostat configuration. There’s a slim possibility that your system is configured for heating instead of cooling, making the system seen as non-operational. This usually happens on non-programmable thermostats.
AC fans are responsible for moving the air around the system. If this component suddenly stops functioning, the whole system will also turn to a halt. Before completely dying out, the AC fan can give warning signs that it is failing or has already failed.
There are a handful of things that can cause the AC fan to stop working. Unfortunately, most solutions to these problems need a part replacement, requiring an HVAC professional’s help. However, there are a few things that inexperienced users can try for themselves to solve problems.
Due to wear and tear, the AC fan will eventually die and will require replacement. Inexperienced users are advised to call an HVAC professional to ensure safety and the quality of work.