Why Is My Outside AC Fan Not Working?

Air conditioners are made up of various components. The conventional split system air conditioner found in many Maryland homes has both indoor and outdoor equipment, and summertime malfunctions can affect parts in either portion of the system. A common repair issue we fix during the summer is an outside AC condenser fan that stops working. In our most recent blog, Grove Heating & Cooling explains why this problem can occur and when you should contact an HVAC technician.

How Your Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit Fan Works

Both the indoor and outdoor components of your split air conditioning system have fans. Both are attached to a motor and are used to circulate air, but for different purposes. Inside, the blower fan circulates air through the system and into your living areas, sending cool air to keep you comfortable indoors. Outside, the fan in the condenser unit moves air across the condenser coil to keep components cool and helps them release heat into the surrounding air as part of the cooling process.

Causes Behind an Outside AC Fan Not Working

If you take a look at the outside AC unit, you’ll notice the fan sits near the top. If your outside AC fan stops working, it will be easy to notice by peaking into the condenser from above. When the fan blades stop spinning as the air conditioner runs, one of the causes below are typically at fault.

1. Motor Issues

As mentioned, the fan is linked to a motor which allows it to rotate. Bearings inside the condenser fan motor can go bad due to wear and tear as well as lack of maintenance, or the entire motor may fail. Without the motor’s operation, your outside AC fan will stop working as a result.

2. Belt Issues

If your condenser unit is newer, it probably doesn’t have a fan belt linking the fan and motor. Most new models use direct drive components instead of belt-driven parts. However, if your air conditioner is several years old, it may very well have a belt, and that belt could be why your AC condenser fan isn’t working. The belt can become loose over time and slip out of position on the pulleys – without a proper fit, the belt won’t allow the motor to turn the fan. This issue is usually repairable but it points to old age, which means it may be a smart decision to upgrade your unit now.

3. Capacitor Problem

The run capacitor is a component in the air conditioner’s condenser unit that holds power to run the fan. Capacitors can fail and when they do, your AC system fan will stop spinning simply because it doesn’t receive power. In this case, the unit’s capacitor needs to be replaced to get the fan working properly again.

4. Faulty Contactor

Two important components housed in the outdoor air conditioner cabinet are the compressor and the fan motor. Both of these components are controlled by the contactor. This electrical switch can fail over time, which prevents these components from receiving electrical power to operate. When the fan motor doesn’t run, your condenser fan won’t spin.

Quick Air Conditioner Repair in Maryland

If your outdoor air conditioner fan isn’t spinning, don’t panic. Typically, issues causing the fan to stop are repairable by a professional, so call Grove Heating & Cooling to take care of this common malfunction right away. Request service today, and an HVAC professional will get your air conditioner back up and running in no time.

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