Air conditioners typically come with two fans, which include one on the inside of your home and one on the outside. The AC fan that’s located indoors helps keep the air temperature cool by sending the air over refrigerant coils. The chilled air is then sent through the nearby ventilation ducts.
As for the outdoor AC fan, it blows air over warmer refrigerant to remove the heat and keep the system cool. If one or both fans aren’t spinning, your HVAC system can’t run properly. There are numerous reasons why an AC fan will stop spinning, all of which are able to be fixed by an HVAC technician.
1. Malfunctioning Capacitor
Outdoor AC fans are equipped with a few capacitors, which are like batteries that are capable of storing power to ensure the fan runs consistently. In the event that one of the capacitors malfunctions, the fan either won’t start or will be unable to maintain the right speed.
The fan blades get into motion with the use of the start capacitor, while the run capacitor is responsible for providing a small current when the fan is running. Capacitors are more likely to malfunction if your AC unit is at least 10 years old or hasn’t been consistently maintained.
2. Breaker or Thermostat Issues
If your AC fan isn’t spinning, it’s possible that the issue is as simple as a circuit breaker being tripped or your thermostat not being turned on. When an HVAC technician attempts to diagnose fan problems, they will first check to make sure that power is being delivered to the unit.
3. Fan Motor Malfunction
While the fan motors in air conditioners are built to withstand a wide range of issues, these motors may break down over an extended period of time. If the system needs to run at full power regularly to meet demand, it’s more likely that a fan motor will fail. If the air conditioner’s output doesn’t accommodate the size of your home, the system will be overworked, which could result in the AC fan motor burning out.
4. Wiring Problems
Another common cause for a fan not spinning properly is that it’s not receiving the power it requires. In this scenario, there’s a chance that a wire has become loose. Checking the wire connections is among the first tasks that an AC technician performs.
5. Cracked Fan Belt
When a fan belt cracks or breaks, the fan will be unable to turn even though every other component is working as intended. It’s possible to fix this issue by having the belt replaced. Most newer AC units aren’t equipped with belt systems but are instead designed to use direct motors. If you have an older unit in your home, a cracked belt could be the reason that your fan isn’t spinning properly. When belts get older, they are more prone to tearing and fraying. You may hear strange clicking or clanging sounds until the issue is fixed.
6. Compressor Contactor Issues
The contactor in an air conditioner is a relatively small device that’s designed to control how electricity flows through the system. When you change the preset temperature on your thermostat, the contactor will conduct and restrict electrical currents to make sure your system knows how it should run.
Contactors are known to burn out over time, which will result in your system’s electrical flow being blocked. When this occurs, the nearby AC components won’t receive electricity, which means that they won’t function. There are also times when contactors are stuck in a “down” or “up” position. If the contactor is in an “up” position, the electrical flow will be blocked. In comparison, capacitors in the “down” position run electricity to other components even when the cooling cycle comes to an end.
If you notice that your air conditioner’s fan is no longer spinning, it could be the result of the contactors being burnt out or left in the “up” position. Routine HVAC maintenance will keep these components in great condition.
7. Dirty Bearings
AC bearings are necessary for making sure that your fan is turning without any pauses or delays. Over time, contaminants can get into the bearing grease, which effectively stretches the bearings. The extent of the damage determines if the bearings will need to be lubricated or replaced altogether.
Has your AC fan recently stopped spinning? If so, our team at Quality Cooling & Heating will find the source of the problem and deliver the necessary fix. You can request our repair services no matter the type or brand of air conditioner you have. We are proud to offer AC and heating repairs, maintenance, and installation services as well as indoor air quality and duct cleaning services. Our locally owned and operated company has been serving Abilene, TX, and the Greater Austin area since 1984. Call us today to schedule an appointment.