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All Time Air Conditioning Explains Why the AC Compressor Not Working but Fan is Running

Industry: Small Business

The compressor is an integral part of the air conditioning system. Its role is to carry heat out of the house while compressing the refrigerant fluid.

Boynton Beach, FL (PRUnderground) November 22nd, 2019

Understanding Reasons For AC Compressor Not Working But Fan Is Running

What is an HVAC Compressor? The compressor is an integral part of the air conditioning system. Its role is to carry heat out of the house while compressing the refrigerant fluid. The warmed refrigerant is heated up further, which converts it from its gaseous state into liquid. The refrigerant’s temperature should always be higher than its surrounding environment. Heat still transfers from warm to cool areas. For the heat to be transferred out efficiently, the compressor needs to be appropriately maintained and in working condition. In most cases, if the AC is not working, the root of the problem often traces back to the HVAC compressor.

The heat of summer can be intense, and the worst thing that can happen is finding yourself with an ac fan runs but compressor does not start. A working AC will provide you with nice and cold air as opposed to bearing the brunt of warm, dry air. With how much the HVAC runs, something is bound to go wrong with its compressor. However, having the fan running but the compressor not working is nothing too dire, so don’t panic. Here’s an insight as to why that could be happening.

AC Compressor Not Working But Fan Is Running: What’s the cause?

When turning on the AC, you may notice the fan running when the compressor is not. In most cases, the problem is usually simple enough for a DIY quick fix, but there are instances when an HVAC technician may be required.

i. Dirty Coil And Filters

A build-up of debris and dirt in the filters, evaporators, or condenser soil can result in the entire unit shutting down. A clogged air filter reduces the airflow significantly, such that the evaporator coil stops functioning. Clogged air filters and condenser coils put the compressor under pressure, making it overheat. Best case scenario, the compressor automatically shuts down before getting damaged. Otherwise, the continuous overheating may necessitate the compressor getting replaced. Wash the condenser coils, replace the air filters, and clear out all blockages and obstructions in the supply vents for air to flow freely.

ii. Capacitor And Starter Relay Problems

The starter relays and capacitors are integral in supplying power to the compressor. They are the most prevalent cause of compressor problems. The capacitor provides the power needed to start and run the compressor, the blower motor, and the outer fan. The starter relay transmits power from the capacitors to the compressor. When ac compressor not working but you hear some humming sounds from the unit, chances are the compressor is trying to access a non-operational capacitor. The upside is that they are the easiest and cheapest parts to replace.

iii. Dead Compressor

This can result from a simple issue like a faulty capacitor or an overheating unit. The only option with a dead compressor is a replacement. Note that an expert should do a compressor replacement.

iv. Power

When the ac compressor not working but the fan is running, chances are the outer unit housing the compressor isn’t receiving power. The fan keeps running because the central unit has no such problem. If the compressor isn’t starting, check the wiring connecting the two units. If it’s a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, the search has come to an end.

Other potential causes may include a faulty thermostat, mismatched indoor and outdoor units, or the AC may just be old.

Is Your AC Compressor Not Working, But Fan is Running?

If your AC compressor is not functioning, here are some situations you may face:

  • Warm, dry air coming from the running fan.
  • The circuit breaker keeps tripping.
  • The compressor stops altogether.
  • Strange noises and shaking from the outdoor unit.
  • The compressor is at the center and heart of the AC unit. An expert AC technician will make a recommendation of whether to replace or repair the compressor. A pro in the industry can fix it before the utility begins to rack up.

How Do I Prevent AC Compressor Not Working, but Fan is Running?

Regular maintenance of the unit is the best preventative measure since it solves most of the issues before they escalate. The compressor is made up of several pieces that are easily replaceable. With regular inspections, the part failing is spotted early enough and replaced, effectively preventing the risk of having an AC compressor problem.

An AC compressor not working may cause some bit of concern and discomfort. If you notice a problem with the unit, the best approach is to call All Time Air Conditioning.

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