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My air conditioner is not working, the fan outside is not spinning, what is wrong?


CapacitorsWait don’t panic. There are a couple of things that can be simple fixes. First check the breaker. If it is tripped, no not reset it but call a technician. Tripped breakers can explode if there is a serious reason the breaker is tripped. Get a trained expert to find out why it is tripped before resetting the breaker.

Now listen to the cabinet that holds the controls. If you hear a humming sound, that indicates the unit is trying to come on but the high voltage is not getting through. This could be a capacitor, a wiring issue, or a motor issue. Check to see if the fan motor body is hot. If that is the case, then you may have a motor problem. Are the coils hot? This indicates the compressor is running but the fan is not.

Other issues may include low refrigerant levels triggering a low pressure switch. These are found on heat pumps and high end air conditioners as protection for the compressor. If you didn’t hear any humming, this could be the culprit.

Most of the reasons your fan is not working will require a good technician to check. The diagnostic chain will cover many different items:

  • Capacitors
  • Contactors
  • Fan Motors
  • Compressor Motors
  • Wiring Issues
  • Relays
  • Thermostats
  • Furnace Boards
  • Defrost Boards
  • Refrigerant Levels
  • Pressure Switches
  • Defrost Sensors

Any one of these can create the situation and each requires a different means of diagnostics to determine if the item is working or faulty.

At Alexander Services, you can trust that you are getting the best service and advice for your situation. Call us today when your air conditioner is not performing as expected.



About Author

Frank Alexander is an experienced engineering professional who holds a Master of Engineering degree from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of South Carolina. Frank holds licenses in both residential and commercial HVAC, and holds a limited electrical license. Frank is also NATE certified.

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