Exploring Deck and Patio Builds

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Understanding Two AC Motor Issues


If you have a central air conditioner, then you likely know that the device has quite a few different moving parts. Some of these parts include motors, and the system actually contains three different ones. These motors, like the one in your car, will wear down over time and require some maintenance or replacement. Motor replacement is a job that should be handled by your HVAC or air conditioning specialist. However, you can and should try to recognize the signs of a motor issue so that you know exactly when to call a professional for assistance. Keep reading to learn about problems that occur with two of the AC's motors. 

Fan Motor

The fan motor is located in the condenser unit that sits outside your home, and it can be found close to the fan blade at the top of the unit. This motor is responsible for moving the fan as the air conditioner runs. The fan helps to pull in air through the vents or grates on the exterior of the AC system. The air moves over the condenser coils and up through the top of the unit. This helps to cool the coils and force heat out of the condenser unit. 

The fan inside the AC condenser will need to turn on and off continually throughout the day, and this can cause the motor to burn out eventually. When this happens, you will start to notice that warm air is being blown into your home. Since the motor controls the fan, the fan will not spin if the motor goes bad. This means that heat cannot be moved away from the condenser coils. The coils will stay warm as the coolant is compressed and moved through the system. The warm coolant will be unable to pull any more heat out of the air, and warm air is then forced into your house.

If you suspect that your fan motor may have gone bad, stand next to the outdoor condenser unit and wait for the AC system to turn on. You should see the fan moving when this happens. If you do not, then use a small stick through the fan grate to gently spin the fan to make sure it is not stuck. If the fan moves, then the motor is likely bad. Shut off the system immediately and contact an HVAC professional. If you allow the system to run, the unit may overheat and other parts may need replacement.

Blower Motor

The blower motor is located inside your home in the evaporator unit. This blower is responsible for moving the cool air up through your vents so you can enjoy your air conditioning. The air is forced over the evaporator coils that carry compressed coolant. The coolant removes the heat from the air moving past, and the newly cooled air keeps moving through the system. The blower motor works to keep the internal parts of the blower moving so air can be moved. In most cases, the blower will be a squirrel cage variety that has a round part with different blades. This part of the fan looks much like an exercise wheel that is placed in a hamster cage. As the wheel moves, air is forced out of the blower opening. 

Most blower motors are attached directly to the blower fan assembly. If the motor does not work, then you will stop feeling air blowing through the vents of your home. You may start to see ice building up on the housing of the evaporator unit or around the evaporator coils. This happens when the coolant remains cold and freezes the condensation that builds on the coils. If you see ice on the evaporator housing, then this ice has started to build and spread. Shut off the system immediately. Otherwise, ice will continue to form and you will waste electricity on a unit that is not blowing air into your house. Contact your HVAC professional so the motor can be tested and replaced if there is a need, or visit websites like http://calldoctorfixit.com.


14 June 2016