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Why Your AC’s Fans Aren’t Working

There are many parts of an air conditioning system that are essential for it to work. If the compressor dies, the AC won’t run, for example. Today we’re going to look at one part—that is actually two parts—that can often fail during a summer season and leave a home without cooling: the fan(s). Specifically, we’re going to see why your fans might stop working and trap you in a boiling home.

The Job of the Two Fans in an AC

A split-system air conditioner operates using two fans driven by powerful motors. The indoor fan, often called the blower fan, does the job of circulating air through the house. It draws air from the rooms through the return ducts, then blows this air past the evaporator coil and into the supply ducts. Pushing the air past the coil is the point where the air loses heat to the cold refrigerant and cools down. So if this fan doesn’t work, not only will air not circulate to the rooms, it won’t even have a chance to cool down.

The outdoor fan in the condenser cabinet performs the job of releasing the heat drawn from inside the house. The fan pulls outdoor air across the hot refrigerant in the condenser coil—even the hottest outdoor air will still be cooler than the gaseous refrigerant. The refrigerant releases heat through condensation, and the fan then exhausts this heat out through the top of the unit. If the outdoor fan fails, the air conditioning system will be unable to move heat from inside the house to outside, and therefore won’t be able to cool down the air.

Why the Fans Might Stop Working

Mechanical components can stop operating for a range of reasons. Here are a few of the possibilities for fans that aren’t doing their job.

  • Tripped circuit breaker – We encourage you to always check on the electrical panel for your home when your AC stops working. It’s possible for one of the fan motors to overload a circuit and trip a breaker. If the breaker keeps tripping, however, you’ll need repair technicians on the job.
  • Lost thermostat connection – The fan may be fine; it’s the thermostat that’s not working. The thermostat has different connections to turn on and off the fans and the compressor. If the unit loses its connection to turn on one of the fans, the fan will not operate.
  • Failed capacitors – The capacitors send voltage to run fan motors and keep them running. Capacitors will usually fail before the rest of the AC, so this is one of the more common causes of motors that won’t turn on. Fortunately, you only need professionals to put in new capacitors and you’ll be back in business.
  • Burnt-out motors – Sometimes the motor for the fan overheats, and when this happens it requires getting HVAC technicians to put in a new motor.

When you need air conditioning repair in Zebulon, NC, whether for the AC’s fan or anything else, you can trust our team at Comfort Master. We serve the Triangle Area of North Carolina and have more than 20 years of history keeping our customers cool.

Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. lets you enjoy the comfort you deserve. Reach out for 24/7 air conditioning repair this summer.

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