Is It Necessary for the Outside Fan to Run When the AC is On?

Have you ever wondered why your air conditioner has two fans – one inside and one outside? The indoor fan helps keep your home cool, while the outside fan plays a crucial role in expelling heat from the system. But what happens if the outside fan isn’t spinning? In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of this issue and how to fix it.

Why Is the AC Fan Not Spinning?

The AC fan not spinning can be attributed to several reasons. Let’s take a closer look at the most common causes and the signs to watch out for.

1. Thermostat or Breaker Turned Off

Believe it or not, sometimes the issue is as simple as a tripped circuit breaker or a thermostat that isn’t properly turned on. Before calling for repairs, take a moment to check these two factors, as they may save you time and money.

2. Wiring Issues

Another possible reason for the outside fan not working is a wiring problem. Loose wires can disrupt the flow of power to the fan. That’s why it’s essential to have regular preventative maintenance to ensure all wiring connections are secure.

3. Failed Capacitors

The outdoor AC fan relies on capacitors to start and maintain its speed. Over time, these small batteries can lose their ability to store energy efficiently, especially when exposed to dust, dirt, and moisture. Damaged capacitors are a common problem in older units or those that haven’t been properly maintained.

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4. Fan Motor Breakdown

AC fan motors are designed to endure a lot, but they can eventually break down, particularly if the system is working too hard to keep up with demand. This often occurs when the HVAC unit’s output is insufficient for the size of your home or during prolonged heat waves. In this case, replacing the burnt-out fan motor is necessary and should be done by a professional AC repair company.

5. Compressor Contactor Problems

When both the compressor and the outdoor fan stop running simultaneously, it could indicate a problem with the compressor contactor. This component determines when to send power to the rest of the system, and if it burns out, the switch gets stuck in the “off” position.

6. Broken Fan Belt

If the fan belt breaks, the fan won’t be able to turn even though everything else is functioning correctly. Replacing the belt is a simple fix for this issue.

7. Seized or Dirty Fan Bearings

Fan bearings help ensure smooth rotation. However, dirt and contaminants can compromise the bearings’ function over time, causing them to seize up. Depending on the level of damage, a professional may either repack the existing bearings with fresh lubricant or replace them altogether.

How Can You Fix an AC Fan That Isn’t Spinning?

In most cases, it’s best to call an AC repair company to inspect your air conditioner. However, if you enjoy tackling minor DIY tasks, there are a few things you can check yourself:

  • Check the circuit breaker: If the air conditioner has tripped a circuit breaker, simply reset it by turning the switch off and then on again.
  • Inspect the air filter: A dirty or blocked air filter can cause various problems with AC components. If you notice a dirty filter, replace it immediately. Remember to change your filters every month or two.
  • Clear away debris: Leaves and twigs can get wrapped around the fan axle, preventing it from turning. To prevent this issue, keep the area around your outdoor HVAC system clean by clearing away debris regularly.
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Remember, it’s crucial not to keep a broken air conditioner running as it can lead to further damage and potentially require the replacement of the entire unit. If replacing the air filters doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s best to turn off the AC and contact a professional repair company like Tri County Air for assistance. They offer 24/7 emergency services, ensuring prompt repairs.

Why Should You Call an AC Repair Company Right Away?

An AC fan not spinning is more than just a minor inconvenience. Ignoring the problem can result in increased humidity, higher electricity bills, potential damage to the AC unit, and even heat stroke in a hot climate like Florida. Therefore, it’s essential to contact an AC repair company as soon as you notice this issue. The experts at Tri County Air are ready to assist you and ensure your comfort and safety.

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