One large part of preserving the value, marketability, and habitability of your Cincinnati, OH, home is maintaining a functional air conditioner. Central air conditioners have two primary components: their indoor air evaporator and their outdoor condenser. Although both components work together to create the cool, comfortable temperatures you want, they don’t always break down simultaneously. It’s not uncommon to hear your air conditioner kick into action inside the home, only to have absolutely no response from the cooling equipment outdoors. If your air conditioner’s outside fan isn’t running even though your indoor unit is on, the following are several possible reasons why.
The Outside Fan Is Broken
Take a trip to your outside condenser unit to listen to the sounds that it’s making. If your air conditioner’s outside fan is broken, it might produce a faint buzzing noise whenever the AC unit is on. This is the sound of a fan motor working hard to get the fan blades to move.
Turn the cooling system off until the underlying issue has been diagnosed and resolved. The fix may be as simple as having a blockage dislodged. However, it could require the replacement of one or more parts or an AC repair service. Damaged or failing capacitors often lie at the heart of this problem.
Failing Capacitors and Fan Problems
A capacitor is a small metal cylinder that stores energy for your air conditioner’s start-up process. This component is connected directly to the AC compressor. When air conditioners initially get going, they draw more power than is readily available from the normal power supply. Capacitors meet this need by releasing their stored energy at exactly the right time. Without a functional capacitor, your AC compressor will never kick into action.
The lifespan of the average central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. Most AC capacitors are expected to last about 20 years. This means that with diligent maintenance and care, consumers should be able to get by without ever changing their AC capacitors. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Living in areas with high humidity can cause an air conditioner’s capacitor to rust. This corrosion greatly decreases its lifespan. In the hot, humid summers of Cincinnati, AC capacitors often last 5 to 15 years. There’s a pretty good chance that you’ll have to swap this component out at least once in your air conditioner’s lifespan. AC capacitors also have a high likelihood of wearing out when air conditioners are too large or too small for their service areas.
The Fan Axle Can’t Move
Your fan might be motionless simply because one or more components are stuck. This may be the case if a recent cutting back of a major overgrowth of tree branches, shrubs, or weeds has resulted in debris lodging in your unit. Windy conditions can also cause twigs, rocks, and other hard items to get stuck inside compressor units, where they impede moving parts.
The underlying cause of a jammed fan axle could also be a rampant pest infestation. Rodents, birds, and insects frequently nest in outdoor condensers.
Sometimes the fan motor bearings are jammed. In this case, the most likely cause is a lack of professional AC maintenance. When fan motor bearings are coated in grime, these substances can become stiff, tacky, and extremely sticky over time.
Problems With the Power Supply
From wiring issues to damaged capacitors, there are a lot of power-related problems that can affect your outside condenser without affecting your indoor equipment. Anything affecting the power supply to the fan assembly can cause your outdoor fan to stop spinning even while your indoor air handler is on. As with all issues pertaining to the outdoor condenser/compressor unit, this problem requires the attention of a licensed professional.
The AC Fan Motor Has Burned Out
There’s also the possibility that the fan motor has burned out. This typically happens when air conditioners exhibit clear signs of distress but homeowners continue running them anyway. Given that many issues affecting fan performance are maintenance-related, the best way to prevent fan motor burnout is by scheduling an annual tune-up. You should also stay on top of filter changes. When you hear strange buzzing sounds or detect excess heat coming from this component, you should turn your air conditioner off right away to prevent complete fan failure.
Since 1968, we’ve been providing top-notch heating, cooling, plumbing, and roofing services to residents of Cincinnati, OH. We also offer ductless systems, indoor air quality services, and preventative maintenance plans. Contact Wingate Heating Cooling and Plumbing today.