We talk often on this blog about some of the components of your air conditioner being particularly critical to its operation. The refrigerant is an obvious one, since that’s what absorbs the heat from your home and then releases it outside. And the compressor is what makes all that possible, pressurizing that refrigerant and keeping it moving. But no amount of cooling power will actually keep your home comfortable if the blower fan doesn’t work.
Here are three of the most common issues that can cause your air conditioner’s blower fan to stop delivering that cool air to where it’s needed.
What Is the Blower Fan?
A traditional central AC system has two fans. One is in the outdoor condenser unit. It blows air across the condenser coils which contain the refrigerant, helping the heat that it’s carrying from your home to disperse outside. The other pushes air across the evaporator coils of the indoor unit, which cools it and sends it along through your ductwork to the rest of your home. This is the blower fan. So what can cause it to stop working?
1: Faulty Capacitors
Does the fan struggle to start up when a cooling cycle begins? Does it make a clicking sound? Your problem may well be related to the capacitors. This electrical component connects the fan’s motor to the electrical power. It holds some electricity, like a battery, and is able to release that energy very quickly to start up the motor… or rather, it should be able to. If your air conditioner is getting old, hasn’t been regularly maintained, or has been operating under stressful conditions (if, for example, the unit is undersized for the house and it has to run almost constantly) the capacitors can fail. When you get air conditioning repair in Stamford, CT, your technician can confirm whether this is the problem and replace the faulty capacitor.
2: Mechanical Issues with the Fan
Does your blower fan make more noise than a gentle whir? Does it rattle or clatter? The fan itself could be the culprit. A loose screw could make the fan wobble off-kilter. It’s even possible for the fan blades to be bent or broken. These problems aren’t just noisy, they can prevent air from flowing properly. Not only that—if it isn’t repaired promptly, a fan blade or the whole fan could come loose and damage other components.
3: Motor Failure
Is there a burning smell? Has the circuit breaker tripped? The motor itself might be to blame. Wear and tear, accumulation of grime, and lack of lubrication can all cause blower fan motors to burn out. Sometimes the wiring within the motor becomes disconnected from all the vibration. Or perhaps the relay switch has broken, preventing the motor from receiving power. With the help of a qualified technician, the exact cause can be determined.
If air is not flowing properly through your vents, don’t despair. Get professional help and get to the root of the problem. Capacitors, fans, and motors can all be replaced, and prompt repair can prevent the lack of airflow from causing bigger problems like overheating, short cycling, or even compressor damage.