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A-1 Mechanical Blog

Is Your Air Conditioner’s Fan Broken?


When you can hear your air conditioner turning on, and the compressor is humming away, but you’re still not getting the cool air you need to make your home comfortable, what in the world is going on? Chances are, you’ve got a problem with your air conditioner’s fan. What’s the problem? What should you do about it? We’ve got answers for you.

The Fans in Your Air Conditioner

If you have a traditional central air conditioner, it has two units, one indoors and one outside. Each of these units has a fan, and these fans do different jobs.

  • The Outdoor Unit’s Fan: When the refrigerant in the coils reaches the outdoor unit, it has absorbed a lot of heat from your home. This heat needs to be released, and the outdoor unit’s fan helps to dissipate it.
  • The Indoor Unit’s Fan: In the indoor unit, the refrigerant in the coils absorbs heat from the air. The now-cold air needs to be pushed through your ductwork so it will flow out your vents and cool your home. The fan that does this job is called the blower fan.

Symptoms of a Broken Fan

Because there are two different fans and various ways they can fail, there are a variety of symptoms that can indicate that your air conditioner needs a fan-related repair.

  • Rattling or Clattering: If either fan has a broken blade, or is loose and spinning off-kilter, it may make a lot of noise. You don’t want the fan to fly free and damage other parts of either the indoor or the outdoor unit, so have a technician investigate your rattling noise right away.
  • Clicking: A fan that struggles to start or to stay running may have a failed capacitor. This component holds and transfers electricity to the fan motors. When capacitors fail, you’re likely to hear a clicking sound when the fan tries to start up.
  • Screeching: Older air conditioners have fan belts. They can stretch, tear, or slip out of position. When they do, they often make a screeching, squealing sound. Again, this is a component that could damage other parts of the unit, so don’t postpone repairs.
  • Lukewarm Air: If what’s coming out your vents is a strong airflow, but not nearly cold enough, the problem is likely with the outdoor unit’s fan. When the heat absorbed by the refrigerant doesn’t dissipate from the outdoor unit, it circulates back into your home still too warm to absorb any more heat.
  • Low Airflow: If there’s little to no air coming out of your vents, this is a problem with the blower fan. It could be the fan itself, but it could also be the motor that powers the fan. It’s a good idea to clean or change your air filter, as the motor can overheat when it doesn’t have good ventilation. But if this doesn’t resolve your problem, you need repairs.

Whatever the reason for your AC fan not spinning in Lansing, MI, a qualified, professional technician can get to the source of the problem and get it sorted out for you. 

Contact A-1 Mechanical Heating & Cooling for AC maintenance and repair in Lansing, MI. Comfort and Character You Can Depend On.

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