Having a reliable air conditioner is critical when New England temps begin to rise. But what happens if your AC fan stops working and isn’t blowing cool air throughout your home anymore? Here are some possible causes of the issue, what you can do to troubleshoot it on your own, and when it’s time to call an HVAC professional.
The Fan Motor Is Overheating Or Burnt Out
The fan motor is the component of an air conditioning unit responsible for driving the fan that pushes cool air from your unit throughout your home. This is usually a single-phase electric motor, which draws power from the AC’s power supply and uses it to spin the blades of the fan.
However, this causes friction, vibration, and heat, which can break down electrical components inside the motor over time. If your motor is overheating, it may shut off automatically when the temperature gets too hot to prevent damage and reduce the risk of fires. Even though this safety feature is handy, it can cause problems when you’re not able to adequately cool your home.
If your fan motor has burned completely out, you may notice that your air conditioner is still making cool air, but it’s just not blowing anywhere. This issue usually requires the expertise of an HVAC professional to repair or replace the motor.
Your Circuit Breaker Has Tripped
If your AC has suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason at all, it may be due to a power surge that has tripped your circuit breaker. This usually happens when the power load on a given circuit exceeds its capacity, resulting in a short circuit that trips the switch for that circuit to shut off power and prevent electrical fires.
Go to your home’s main electrical panel and locate the breaker switch connected to your air conditioning unit. If it has switched to the “off” position, switch it back on again and your AC should start running normally after that.
If your breaker trips repeatedly or is warm to the touch, you may have an issue with wiring or other components in your HVAC system putting too much stress on the circuit. In this case, contact a qualified HVAC professional for further diagnosis and repair work.
Your Unit’s Capacitor Is Defective
A capacitor is essential for the function of your air conditioner. This component stores electrical energy that can later be used by the system to start and run the motor efficiently.
If your capacitor is defective or failing, your AC fan may stop working, or you may hear buzzing noises coming from the unit when it turns on. This sound often indicates that the electrical current passing through the system is too high and that the capacitor isn’t working to store the extra energy.
If you inspect your AC unit, look for any signs of leaking or damage near the capacitor. Visible signs of an issue, like moisture where there shouldn’t be any, or burned or melted components, usually necessitates professional replacement.
You Have A Faulty Belt
A drive belt is the component responsible for transferring power from the unit’s motor to the fan blades. As the belt is used, it can become worn or stretched and may need to be replaced. If your AC fan motor isn’t running at all, this could mean that the drive belt has slipped off or even snapped entirely. Or, a worn belt may produce a squealing noise until it finally breaks apart.
Make sure you turn off all electricity to the unit before attempting any repairs or replacements yourself, or you risk serious injury. Then, locate and remove the old drive belt by gently prying it away from its mounting points with a flat-head screwdriver.
Replace the broken or worn belt with a new one by attaching one end of the new belt to each mounting point on either side of the motor and making sure that it fits snugly into place. If you’re not well-versed in HVAC repair or aren’t sure if the drive belt is the problem, a contractor can help.
The Filters Are Clogged
If you can hear your fan running but you’re not feeling any airflow from your unit or the vents, this could be the result of a clogged air filter. Even though the fan is working, the air can’t pass through the filter to reach the rest of your home, making it seem like your unit isn’t pushing any air around.
To check the filter, simply remove it from the unit and hold it up against a light source such as a window or lamp. You’ll know that it needs replacing if there is no light visible on either side of the filter. Some types of filters can be cleaned instead of replaced, so check the manufacturer’s instructions or ask a specialist if you need to make sure.
New England Ductless is a veteran provider of residential and commercial HVAC services and can provide you with expert heating and cooling installation or repair based on your specific needs. Contact us today for a quote by dialing 781-995-2665.