When the fan is not working properly, you won’t feel air coming out of your vents, and the air conditioner coils will end up freezing over. Therefore, it’s essential to keep it in good condition if you want your air conditioner to work.
Follow these simple steps to test your air conditioner’s fan motor:
Step 1. Ensure the Thermostat is On
Is the thermostat on? Make sure the thermostat is turned on. Don’t laugh. It’s one of the main culprits that makes people think their AC is not working.
Step 2. Check for Tripped Breakers
Is there a tripped breaker? Locate the circuit breaker panel and check if there’s a tripped breaker. Each breaker switch has three settings: “On”, “Off”, and a neutral setting. If the breaker that’s labeled “air conditioner” is in the “off” setting, set it to the middle neutral position before turning it back to “On”.
Step 3. Replace Air Filters
Are the air filters clean? Check the air filters to see if they’re clean. If they’re caked with dirt and debris, replace them. Clogged air filters will block the airflow, causing a chain reaction. If they’re clean, it’s time to move on to step four.
Step 4. Examine Outside Fan
Is the fan spinning? Walk outside to check the condenser unit (the big box that sits outside your home). You’ll be able to see the fan from the top. If the air conditioner is on, you should be able to hear the compressor (the loud humming sound that’s typical of a running air conditioner) and you should be able to see the fan blades turning. If the AC is on and the blades are static, you know there’s an issue.
Step 5. Clear Fan Blades of Obstructions
Are the fan blades obstructed? Go back inside and turn off the air conditioner. Then walk back outside and insert a screwdriver or similar tool into the slits on top of the condenser unit and try to move the fan blades with your tool. This is to check if they’re spinning freely or if maybe there’s a fallen branch or something else that may be restricting movement.
Step 6. Try Kickstarting Fan Blades
Will the blades move on their own if you kick start them? If they move freely, go back inside, turn the AC back on, and use your tool again to kick start the fan blades. If they start working once you start them manually, then the blades are working fine and the problem is the capacitor (which is the AC part that makes the fan run).
Step 7. Inspect the AC Capacitor
Inspect the AC capacitor. You’ll need a capacitor tester for this (available at any hardware store). Turn off the power source to your air conditioner.
Contact Person: Ms. Amanda Gu