May 1, 2024
Reasons Your AC Fan Isn’t Working

When you turn on the AC in your Champaign, IL, home, cold air should soon rush from its vents. When it doesn’t, the culprit could be a malfunction with one of your AC’s fans. While figuring out which fan is the problem is easy, figuring out the cause isn’t. However, there are some ways to narrow down the likely culprit if you know what to look for. Here, we will explain five reasons why one of your AC’s fans might stop working.

1. A Power Issue

If either of your AC’s fans stops working, the first thing to check is your AC breaker. Power issues are among the most common causes of AC fan failures. So, look at your home’s main electrical panel to see if your AC circuit breaker tripped. If it has, switch it back to the on position, and see if your AC operates normally.

If the breaker trips again, it likely means there’s a power problem inside your AC. In that case, do not switch the power back on. Instead, call us, and we’ll send a qualified HVAC technician to diagnose and fix your problem.

2. A Failed Capacitor

The second most common issue that can cause an AC fan failure is a failed capacitor. When either of your AC’s fans first come on, they draw substantially more power than your AC circuit provides. To give them the jumpstart they need, your AC uses a capacitor for each. A capacitor is like a powerful, rechargeable battery that provides a high-voltage boost for large motors.

If one of your AC capacitors fails, you may hear a humming noise coming from the affected unit. This is the sound of the fan motor attempting to spin up without sufficient power. If the sound’s coming from your indoor unit, it may be the blower motor capacitor. If it’s coming from the outdoor unit, it may be the condenser fan’s capacitor.

In either case, you should switch off your AC and call for professional help. Capacitors operate at high voltages, and you can get a nasty shock if you try to replace one yourself. Only a qualified HVAC technician should repair or replace an AC capacitor. They’ll know how to do it safely and without doing further damage to your AC.

3. A Failed Contactor

If your condenser fan isn’t turning on, a failed contactor may be the reason. A contactor is a heavy-duty switch that routes power to your condenser fan and compressor. It should engage automatically when your AC comes on. If it doesn’t, your condenser fan won’t receive the power it needs to operate.

4. A Broken Belt

A broken drive belt is another common issue that can lead to a blower motor failure. Most AC blower motors don’t directly drive the blades in the blower motor’s housing. They rely on a rubber belt, much like you’d find in an automobile. If that belt fails, your motor will run, but the fan blades won’t spin.

To find out if this is your issue, the technicians will open the blower motor access door on your AC’s indoor unit. They should get a clear view of the drive belt. If it appears worn, slackened, or broken, it is likely the cause of your problem. This is a fairly quick fix, as they generally have access to a perfect-fit replacement belt and the right tools for the job.

5. A Burnt-Out Motor

Finally, if one of your AC’s fans stops working, it could be burnt out. Fortunately, this isn’t a frequent occurrence. If you’re having regular maintenance performed on your AC system, its fans should last for the duration of the system’s lifespan. Usually, AC fans only fail for one of two reasons. One is if they suffer a power spike, which can lead to burnout.

The other is if something obstructs the fan, causing it to overheat. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can fall into the outdoor unit. You can help prevent this by periodically cleaning around the outdoor unit. Keep bushes and tree limbs trimmed well away from this unit. If you have outdoor pets, you may want a fence or other way to keep them away.

Indoor motors can burn out for several reasons. The first is if you are not regularly changing the air filter. This causes the motor to work harder to pull air through a clogged vent. Also, if these parts are not regularly cleaned via annual maintenance visits, dirt, and other gunk can build up and make the motor work harder.

Your Local AC Repair Specialists

Since 1952, Bash Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. has been the go-to company for AC repair in Champaign. We offer complete HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services. We even offer 24/7 emergency services for AC problems that can’t wait. We also offer indoor air quality services, humidifiers, and sheet metal fabrication services.

If you have a problem with an AC fan in Champaign, call our experts at Bash Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. right away!

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