What to Check On Your Air Conditioner Condenser Fan
When it comes to your air conditioner, there are many moving parts that help keep it running and keep you cool. But the condenser fan is perhaps one of the most important components, because it’s the part of your air conditioner that is responsible for moving the air across the condenser coil and rejecting the heat in order to keep your home comfortable. It’s also one of the more visible parts of your system, because you can see the huge fan on the top of your AC unit outside – which serves as a great reminder to make sure it’s working properly.
If you notice your home feels like a heat wave inside, it’s likely that an issue with the condenser fan could be the problem. And we have our resident expert, Keith Hill, technical support manager from Minnesota Air to help you find a solution.
What Can Go Wrong With A Condenser Fan?
Since the job of the condenser fan is to move lots of to reject it from the house, it’s crucial to keeping you comfortable on a hot summer day.
“Even though the air may not feel all that warm, it contains all of the heat being rejected by the air conditioning system. so it’s critical that the air flow is reliable,” says Keith. “Just like in your car, if your radiator doesn’t get enough airflow, your engine overheats quickly and will either shut down safely or ruin your engine. The same is true on an AC system. A non-functioning condenser fan motor/fan blade (propeller) may ruin your compressor if the system does not “fail safe.”
Besides only hot air being produced, a noisy AC unit, bent blades, wobbly fan or a stopped fan are all warning signs that something needs to be fixed with your condenser fan.
What Can I Do To Prevent/Fix Problems?
The newer your unit, the more likely it is to use advanced technology. Keith says newer units have permanently lubricated motors, but some older units have oil ports on their condenser fan motors. If it’s noisy, or you notice that it’s not moving as efficiently, just put a couple drops of oil – 1 or 2 drops – in the port before you fire it up for summer.
When you do your spring cleaning and AC maintenance each year, you should also make sure to look at the fan motor and fan blade. Keith recommends doing this visual inspection in spring, fall, and after big storms, to make sure the fan is clear of debris and can move freely.
“Poke a screwdriver between the grille openings and give it a spin – with the power off, of course,” he says. “The blade should move freely and there should be no wobble. Stiff turning or wobbling may be a sign of bearing trouble, replace the motor. Blades are inexpensive and often hard to remove on older units due to rust on the motor shaft. It’s not a bad idea to change the blade if and when you change the motor.”
Other things to keep in mind:
- If the blade is bent, don’t try to straighten it – replace it.
- If you hear clicking or a grating noise, its likely there is debris blocking the fan from moving efficiently.
- Cut back bushes, branches and shrubs around your AC unit. You should have at least 2 feet clear on the sides and top of the unit.
If you’ve tried troubleshooting and still can’t figure out why your AC isn’t working, call your friendly experts at Carrier and staycomfyminnesota.com. We’ll have you cool in no time!
For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.