Air conditioners are complex pieces of machinery, so when anything in them breaks, it requires detective work to locate the cause. This is one of the reasons we recommend you turn to professionals only when you have an air conditioning system that isn’t working. Unless the problem is basic–like a tripped circuit breaker–it takes skilled technicians to find out what the specific malfunction is so it can be fixed.
Today we’re looking at a common source of a “no cool” air conditioner: a broken fan. There are two fans in an air conditioning system handling different jobs. If either fails, you won’t have indoor cooling.
The Indoor Fan
The fan inside the house is called the blower fan and is housed in the air handler of the HVAC cabinet. This is usually at the bottom of the cabinet. The fan draws air through the return vent, then sends it through the air conditioner’s evaporator coil. The air loses heat to the cold refrigerant, and the fan pushes it onward into the ductwork that takes it to the rooms.
Consequence of this fan breaking: No air moves through the ventilation system and out the vents. You won’t hear the AC cabinet making any noise, and no air will circulate.
The Outdoor Fan
This fan is housed inside the condenser unit, where the compressor is located. The job of this fan is to draw outside air through grills and across the condenser coil. As the air passes over the coil, the hot refrigerant inside it loses heat and cools off. The fan then exhausts the heat out of the cabinet. This is how the AC moves heat from inside the house to the outside.
Consequence of this fan breaking: The air conditioner will not be able to draw heat from inside the house and release it outside, and the air from the vents will be room-temperature.
What Can Cause the Fans to Break
Both fans are powered by motors, and the most common reason for fan failure is motor failure. Here are a few of the common causes of motor failure:
- Burn-out: If the motor overheats, the wires in the casing will fuse and the motor stop working permanently. It requires repair technicians to replace the motor.
- Dead capacitors: The capacitors send voltage to the motors, but they can start to lose their ability to store electricity over time due to too much each exposure. In fact, capacitors rarely last for the lifetime of an air conditioner and will need replacement at some point. You may catch early signs one failing if you hear clicking sounds inside the cabinet. Technicians can easily replace dead or failing capacitors.
- Failed contactors: The contactors in the motor allow the current to switch. A dirty or broken contactor will cut off electrical flow. Like capacitors, contactors can be replaced by professionals.
- Broken fan belt: This only applies to older air conditioners. Honestly, if your AC is old enough to have a fan belt, we suggest you upgrade to a new air conditioner.
You can trust us to help no matter what has caused your AC to stop keeping you cool. We’re the pros in air conditioning repair in Katy, TX.
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