If your air conditioner isn’t working, one of the first things you want to check is the condenser fan outside. Your condenser fan helps to transfer the heat that is collected by your refrigerant to the outdoor environment. Learn more about how an air conditioner works.
Main Causes of a Broken Condenser Fan
- Loss of power (check the breaker box and individual HVAC switches for your indoor and outdoor unit)
- Power-box damage (you may have to repair the electrical connections between your electrical panel and outdoor condenser unit)
- Disabled or damaged motor/motor control (the motor is what sends power to your condenser fan)
The only thing you can do as a homeowner to fix a broken condenser fan is check the breaker box and make sure the indoor and outdoor switches are in the on position. If your HVAC system is getting power but your condenser fan is still not working, then you probably have a problem with the fan or motor, which will require the services of a professional HVAC technician.
How to Fix a Broken Condenser Fan
Loss of Power (Tripped Breaker or Blown Fuse)
The condenser fan, like the other components of your HVAC system, needs electrical power, which gets delivered from your electrical panel. If you have a circuit breaker, which most homes have, you will want to check the breaker box for any flipped breakers.
Simply locate the breaker that is in the opposite position from the rest, flip it all the way “off,” and then flip it to the “on” position. Make sure your hands and feet are dry before touching any electrical equipment.
If you have a fuse box, you will want to make sure to replace the blown fuse with a fuse that is the exact same size, type, and amperage. Keep in mind, you may need fuse pliers to remove the old fuse.
Indoor Power Switch
If your electrical panel is functioning correctly, you’ll want to look for a power problem elsewhere in the system.
For most HVAC systems, there is a power switch located near your indoor air handler. If your HVAC system is located in the basement, look there; if it’s in the attic, check your attic.
The power switch looks like a regular light switch. If you air conditioner isn’t working, the switch may have been inadvertently turned off. This sometimes happens if someone thinks it is a light switch.
Once you have located the switch near your indoor unit, check to make sure it is in the “on” position.
Outdoor Disconnect Box (aka External Safety Switch)
After checking the electrical panel and indoor power switch, the next step is to look outside for the disconnect box. It will be located in a box very close to your outdoor unit (aka condenser).
Make sure it is turned on. If, however, the fuses inside have blown, you will need to contact a professional HVAC technician to restore power. Sometimes surges and power outages can cause them to blow. If your outdoor power box has been damaged, this can cause the condenser fan to stop working.
Check the Thermostat
Make sure the thermostat is set to “cool” and “auto.” The temperature setting should also be below that of room temperature for your air conditioning system to work.
Click here for more thermostat troubleshooting tips.
Contact a Professional HVAC Technician
If the power sources and thermostat are working properly, you may have a problem with the condenser motor or the condenser fan itself. In these cases, contact a professional HVAC technician.
Sometimes the magnetized switch that turns the primary motor control isn’t working. Other times, wires, switches, and other electronic components may need to be readjusted. If you have a problem with the motor itself, it may need to lubricated or replaced.
Service Champions Air Conditioning Repair
If your condenser fan or any other part of your air conditioning system isn’t working, trust the professionals at Service Champions to get the job done right. We are a Diamond-Certified HVAC Company serving Northern California.
For superior HVAC repairs, contact Service Champions to fix your broken air conditioner fan. Give us a call, fill out our contact form, or send your questions to one of our Champions to speak with an expert right away.