How to Troubleshoot an AC Fan Motor

how to troubleshoot an ac fan motor

Being a homeowner comes with a long list of responsibilities. One of the major ones is making sure that the air conditioner is working optimally. However, constantly taking care of its many parts can get expensive. Is there anything you can do to keep costs down? What if the AC fan motor fails? Is there a way to diagnose this without a service call?

Read on for troubleshooting tips.

How to Test a Fan Motor

The first thing you need to do is confirm that the issue is with the fan. This can be done easily: Walk to the condenser unit (the big box portion of your AC that is seated outside your home) and look through the vents from the top. If the air conditioner is on, the fan should be turning.

Symptoms of a Bad AC Fan Motor

If the fan isn’t turning, the causation could be:

Tripped Circuit Breaker

This is likely the case if there were too many appliances running at the same time in your home. Locate the circuit breaker labeled “AC”. If it’s set to “OFF”, switch it to the middle neutral position before switching it back to “ON”.

Obstructed Fan Blades

If the breaker didn’t trip, shut off the power to the AC at the control panel and the breaker. Insert a stick or the tip of a screwdriver through the vents to see if they’ll move easily when prompted. If they don’t move, the fan is likely obstructed by debris (fallen leaves, sticks, rocks, etc.). Use the screwdriver to remove the top of the condenser unit and remove anything that may be keeping the fan blades from moving freely.

Faulty Capacitor

If the blades move when you nudge them, the issue may be a faulty capacitor (the part of the AC that starts the motor). Shut off the power source to your AC both at the control panel and breaker box. Remove the top of the condenser unit and look for the capacitor (It’s shaped like a cylinder and looks like an oversized battery). If the top is bulging or if it’s leaking, it’s time to replace it. If the top is not bulging, you can use a capacitor tester to see if it’s still working.

The best way to prevent this type of issue from catching you by surprise is to schedule regular AC maintenance. Doing so will keep your energy costs down by ensuring your HVAC system is working efficiently. It will also allow you to budget for foreseeable issues before they become a problem.

Regular AC maintenance also extends the lifespan of your air conditioner and ensures that manufacturers honor their warranties (some AC companies require regular maintenance in order for their warranty to apply).

Call Blair’s Air Conditioning for AC Repair in Pinellas County and South Tampa

If you have any issues with your AC, let us know. Our experienced HVAC professionals will get it back up and running in no time. We offer 24/7 emergency AC repair services, and we’re open 365 days a year. If everything is working properly, we can do a maintenance check to ensure that your home is ready for the summer.

Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule service.