ac fan not spinningAC fans circulate cold air and vent warm air. The system cannot cool your house without them. It either stops pumping air entirely, or generates lukewarm air instead, even though the rest of the system may be humming along normally. If your AC fan is not spinning, there may be several reasons why.

Dead Capacitor

Capacitors are small, cylindrical devices that transmit power to the AC motor. Air conditioners contain several types of capacitors, each with a different function. The start capacitor sends energy to the motor to rev it up, while the run capacitor provides additional power to keep it going.

Capacitors have a limited lifespan and wear down over time. If the motor has trouble turning on or shuts down in the middle of the cooling cycle, it’s a sign its capacitors have begun to go bad and need to be replaced.

Bad Contactor

Contactors are like a switch, controlling the flow of electricity to each component of the air conditioner. Every capacitor has two positions: up and down. When it’s down, electricity flows through the capacitor into the designated component so it can operate. When it’s up, it cuts off the flow of electricity and the component powers down. Contactors are controlled by the thermostat, which signals them to flip up or down, based on its temperature setting.

However, if the switch is worn out, it may become stuck in one of these positions, preventing electricity from reaching your AC fan or keeping it running even after the thermostat has told it to stop.

Broken Motor

AC motors power the condenser and evaporator fans. With regular maintenance, an AC motor generally lasts 10-15 years. However, clogged filters and long summer cooling cycles may overwork the motor, shortening its lifespan.

Broken Fan Blades

A cracked, bent, or loose blade can throw the fan off balance, or cause it to catch on the AC housing. While bad capacitors, contactors, and motors need to be diagnosed by an HVAC technician, homeowners can diagnose broken fan blades on their own.

Condenser fan blades are typically mounted on the top of the unit, just underneath the fan guard. Power down the unit before inspecting the fan. Broken blades can be dangerous when spinning. If there is any visible damage, call an HVAC contractor to replace the fan.

Clogged Air Filter

Filters are designed to block debris while letting air flow through. However, as they become dirtier, they slowly constrict air flow instead. Unless they’re replaced every 3-6 months, they’ll wind up placing an incredible strain on the fan, which may cause it to break down.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

An overheated cooling system can overload the circuit breaker, causing it to trip and cut power to the unit. In most cases, flipping the circuit back on will solve the problem. However, if the circuit trips repeatedly, then the homeowner will need to call an electrician or HVAC technician to diagnose the problem. Either the AC unit is drawing too much power or the wires supplying it need to be upgraded.

Protecting Your Air Conditioner

Agway not only powers your cooling system*, we protect it. Our EnergyGuardTM program covers your central air conditioner’s essential components, to help alleviate steep, out-of-pocket repair costs. There are no service fees or deductibles. Just reliable, 24/7 support. So don’t wait. Sign up today to save on repairs!

*Coverage depends on commodity purchased.