How to Detect AC Fan and Compressor Problems

7 Signs of AC Fan and Compressor Problems

Air conditioning problems are never fun, especially during the hot summer months. One of the most common issues homeowners face is air conditioning fan and compressor problems. Here are some signs that your unit may be experiencing issues with the fan and compressor.

Strange Noises

Strange noises from your AC unit can clearly indicate a problem with the fan or compressor.

  • Grinding noises may tell that the bearings on the fan motor are worn out and need to be replaced.

  • Squealing or screeching noises could mean a problem with the serpentine belt that connects the fan motor to the compressor.

  • Rattling noises may mean that parts in the fan or compressor are loose and need tightening.

Calling a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the problem is best.

Reduced Airflow

If you notice reduced airflow coming from your AC unit's vents, it could mean that the fan is not working correctly. A clogged air filter can also cause reduced airflow, so regularly check and replace your air filter. It's best to call a professional to diagnose the problem if it's not the air filter. Sometimes, the fan motor may need to be replaced or repaired.

Warm Air

If your AC unit blows warm air instead of cool air, it could indicate a compressor issue. The compressor is responsible for cooling the refrigerant that flows through your AC unit, so if it is not functioning correctly, your AC will not be able to cool your home effectively. Call a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and repair compressor problems since they can be complex and require specialized knowledge and tools.

Tripping Breakers

If your AC unit trips the circuit breaker frequently, it could indicate an electrical problem with the compressor. Electrical issues can cause the compressor to draw too much power, which can trip the breaker. Several issues, such as faulty wiring or a malfunctioning capacitor, can cause this.

Ice Buildup

Ice buildup on your AC unit's evaporator coils can mean there’s a problem with the fan or compressor. A dirty air filter can cause ice buildup, as can low refrigerant levels or a malfunctioning fan motor. We suggest you address ice buildup right away, as it can prevent your AC unit from cooling your home effectively and can also cause damage to your system.

Leaking Refrigerant

Leaking refrigerant can be a severe problem for your unit, leading to reduced cooling capacity and even system failure. A professional HVAC technician can diagnose the problem and recommend the best action, including repairing or replacing the compressor.

Tips for Maintaining Your AC Unit

Regular maintenance is the key to preventing fan and compressor problems from occurring. Here are some tips for maintaining your unit:

  • Change your air filter regularly: A dirty air filter can cause reduced airflow and other issues.

  • Keep your outdoor unit clean and free of debris: Leaves, dirt, and other debris can clog up the fins on your outdoor unit and reduce its efficiency.

  • Schedule annual maintenance with a professional HVAC technician: A professional can inspect your system and catch potential problems before they become serious.

  • Keep your thermostat set at a consistent temperature: Constantly adjusting your thermostat can put unnecessary strain on your AC unit.

  • Don't overload your AC unit by setting the temperature too low: Setting your thermostat too low can cause your AC unit to work harder than necessary, leading to problems down the line.

When to Call a Professional

We suggest immediately calling a professional HVAC technician if you notice any of the abovementioned signs. Attempting to repair your AC unit yourself could lead to further damage and may even be dangerous. Griffin Mechanical, LLC will be able to diagnose the problem and provide the necessary repairs to get your AC unit up and running again. Call us at (615) 502-3030 to schedule a maintenance or repair appointment today.