Your Air Conditioner Blower May Not Be Working For One Of These Three Reasons

One of the most important components of your air conditioner is the blower. This part is responsible for moving air over the cooling coils and into your home, so your home won't reach the desired temperature if this part breaks. The reasons a blower may malfunction are numerous, but here are three of the most common ones and the type of repairs that must be made to get your unit in good working order. 

The Blower's Motor Is Overheating

Like many other parts on the air conditioner, the blower is powered by a motor. While the motor is designed to run for long periods of time, there are occasions when it will break down, and one of the most common reasons is due to overheating. When the motor gets too hot, it will shut down and cause the blower to stop working.

Signs the motor is overheating include:

  • A burning smell wafting from the vents or the A/C unit itself
  • Loud humming noise
  • The air conditioner short cycles (i.e. turning on and off continuously)
  • The blower works when the unit first turns on but then shuts off shortly after

More often than not, the blower's motor overheats because it's dirty. Over time, dust and grime accumulate on the part, which makes it difficult for it to vent heat. Cleaning the motor may alleviate this problem, so that's the first thing you should try when working to fix this problem.

However, the blower may also overheat due to age or natural wear and tear. If that's the case, it's probably best to have a professional look at it or to spend the $150 to $450 to replace the part altogether.

The Fan Belt Is Damaged

The blower contains a fan that helps push the air through the machine and into the home. The motor operates the fan via a belt that turns the blades. Sometimes the reason the blower stops working is because this belt has become too damaged to operate or has stopped functioning altogether.

While fan belts can last for years, they do break down over time because they're constantly in motion. You can check the health of the belt on your unit by opening up the panel and looking at it. If it appears brittle, has breaks or cracks, or looks shiny, it needs to be replaced.

Luckily, this is a pretty easy fix. You can purchase a new belt from any home improvement store, online, or from an air conditioning repair company. Then it's just a matter of removing the old belt and putting the new one on. Be sure to turn off the power before starting the repair.

Additionally, don't just pull the old belt off. Loosen the mounting bolts on the motor to produce enough slack in the belt to remove it and then place the new one. Simply pulling the old belt off or attempting to put the new one on without making this adjustment can lead to damage to the shaft or the belt itself from pulling it too tight.

Electrical Failure

A third reason the blower may not work is because of electrical issues. The motor's capacitor may have failed or the motor itself may be shorted out. This is more likely the issue if the motor doesn't turn on at all when the air conditioner is engaged.

However, you can use a multimeter to test the connections and the capacitor. If the multimeter indicates there's power going to the motor, then that confirms the motor is the issue. If there is no power coming from the connections, then they may be the issue.

If you have experience handling electrical issue, you can typically find replacement parts at home improvement stores and quickly make the necessary repair. Otherwise, it's best to have a tech handle this issue for you.

For help with your broken air conditioner, contact an air conditioner repair company like Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc. in your area.