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Is your AC not blowing cold air anymore and your AC fan is not spinning? If that is the case, you probably wonder what is going on and need a solution.

A tripped circuit breaker is a very common issue in this situation. If you have a multimeter you can check if your AC is getting incoming power, and if it doesn’t, call a professional to fix it.

Here is an example where a faulty circuit breaker was a problem:

The solution to this problem is rather simple, just reset the breaker! You do so by turning your AC off at the thermostat first. Once you flip the breaker, you can turn AC back on.

AC units are also fused and before getting deeper into other more complicated scenarios, let’s see if the fuse is blown. It generally looks like this:

Now, let’s look individually at compressor and fan problems.

Why would AC fan not spin?

#1. No power

This is the obvious one but making sure that your AC unit is receiving power in the first place, is very important! If you know that everything is fine with a circuit breaker and fuses, you need a professional to check out the wiring.

#2. Bad fan motor

If you don’t hear your fan motor running, ask the HVAC specialist to check out your fan motor. That means that after checking your breakers, fuses, wiring and everything is fine there, a bad fan motor is the next logical thing to assume.

The best solution here is to get a professional to check your unit out.

#3. Bad start capacitor

If the start capacitor of your AC system is out of shape, the motor, that is turning your fan, will not activate it. You cannot change the start capacitor by yourself and need a specialist to do so.

Just shut off the unit and call for professional assistance.

Why is the compressor not working?

There are two common scenarios of what could go wrong with the compressor:

#1. No power

Everything is fine with your circuit breaker, but the unit is still not receiving any energy? In this case, an HVAC specialist needs to check wiring and possible internal damages.

#2. Start capacitor problems

The start capacitor plays an important role in powering the compressor and if it fails to do so, you may hear a humming noise. Capacitors are not expensive to replace, but you will need a professional to do so.

#3. Starter relay problems

If there is a problem with your starter relay, then the power will not be able to get from the capacitor to the compressor. In this situation, the compressor will not receive the needed electricity and will not work.

#4. Defective compressor contactor

If your compressor sounds weird, you may have a problem with a failing compressor contractor. This is how you detect this problem:

Either no power is getting to the outdoor unit or you have a defective compressor contactor. The contractor’s job is to send power to the compressor and fan motor. There could be other issues, but these are the common ones.

#5. Dead compressor

In this case, your only choice is to get a new compressor. This is NOT a DIY project and you will need to get HVAC professional to do so!

#6. Other problems


… the most obvious things in life are hardest to notice!

So, here are some “obvious” things that may do not cross your mind:

  1. Is your thermostat working properly?
  2. Are your indoor and outdoor units compatible?
  3. How old is your AC?
  4. When was the last time you cleaned your coils?

If you notice that your outdoor AC unit looks like this:

… it may require a deep clean-up on your side! You can use a water hose and special coil cleaners to do so.

If there is too much debris in your coils, constant overheating will cause damage to the compressor, and eventually, you will need to replace it. Compressors are not cheap, so just simple scheduled maintenance of your AC unit would save you from a lot of headaches.

Hope this information helps somebody. Take care of your AC and it will take care of you during hot summer days!

Attention! This article is for informational purposes ONLY and is NOT a replacement for a professional advice! You will need to visit school's website for details and updates, as well as consult your local HVAC specialist for appropriate solution to your problem.


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