What You Should Do When The Fan On Your Outdoor A/C Unit Stops Working

A common problem among all makes and models of outdoor air conditioning units is that the fan stops running. The fan helps to remove the heat from the coils in the unit that send cold air into your home. If the fan stops working, the coils will heat up and you will get warm air into your home. There can be a couple of reasons why the fan has stopped working and you need to determine what the problem is so you can have an idea of what you need to do to fix it. The most common reasons are the bearings in the fan motor or the run capacitor has gone bad. Determining why the fan is not working is something most homeowners can do by themselves. If the fan on your outdoor air conditioning unit stops working, here is how you can figure out what is wrong with it.


The compressor keeps on running even if the fan stops working. If you hear the compressor humming, you know you have electricity going to the outdoor air conditioning unit. If the compressor isn't running, you should check the circuit breaker to see if it has tripped to the "off" position. You should also check the plug to see if it has gotten loose.

Hit "Reset" Button

The fan motor might have experienced an electrical overload for some reason. Perhaps a stick got caught in the blades. The fan will switch off to prevent it from getting overheated and possibly causing a fire. Most outdoor air conditioning units will have a reset button on it. You should look at your owner's manual to find where the reset button on your unit or contact the manufacturer. Remove any obstructions and click on the reset button and see if the fan starts up.

Check Fan Motor

You should check the bearings on the fan next if you have electricity running to the unit and hitting the "reset" button didn't work. The bearings allow the fan to spin around and if they become worn, the fan won't spin freely (and sometimes, it won't spin at all). Stick a long screwdriver through the grill in the fan and push the blades with it. If the blades spin around freely, the bearings are good. If the blades don't spin, or don't spin very much, you will want to have the fan motor replaced.

Kick Start Fan

You should try to kick start the fan. If you have turned the unit off, you should turn it back on. Take the long screwdriver and stick it back through the grill. Push the fan blades a couple of times. If the fan blades continue to spin on their own, you will need to replace the run capacitor. If you are uncomfortable with changing the internal parts of the air conditioner, you should contact a HVAC service company to change the fan motor or run capacitor for you.

Visit a company like A Bailey Plumbing for more information.