Fan Kicks On but Compressor Not Working

trane ac unit

A common question we hear often is “Why does my fan kick on but the compressor is not working?”. If this happens to you, do not jump to conclusions and assume that your entire HVAC unit is toast. This is an issue but things could be worse. To understand this issue, it is important to know what the compressor does. The compressor is the part of the exterior air conditioning unit that circulates refrigerant through the indoor and outdoor coils to cool your home or business. Bottom line is that if the compressor is not working, the unit cannot cool your house. It makes sense why this is such a common question and puzzling to diagnose as a home or business owner. The fan is located at the top of the exterior air conditioning unit and returns the warm air in your home or business to the condenser to later be converted to cool air that is dispersed into the interior of your home or business. Typically, if the fan is moving and working, the compressor is working as well. 

air conditioning technician

There are a few things that could be happening to cause your compressor not work even though the fan has kicked on, such as:

  1. There is an electrical issue in the heating and air conditioning unit. In a split system, the indoor unit and outdoor unit receive power from two different sources. You could check the wiring between the two systems if you have experience with this and also reset the circuit breaker, but we HIGHLY recommend letting professionals deal with any sort of electrical issues.
  2. The coils or filters are dirty. Since there are so many moving parts of an air conditioning system, it is important for the units to have certain safety features to ensure they are running correctly. One of these features is that if the coils or filters become too gunked up with dirt and debris, the compressor will not be able to run and could turn off. Keeping these cleaning routinely will prevent this from being an option!
  3. There could be an issue with the AC capacitor. The AC capacitor powers the compressor, so if this goes out, the compressor will not turn on.

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Call Coastal Home Services for help with your AC System

Are you having problems with your air conditioning system and not sure where to turn or who to call? There are so many intricate parts of a heating and air conditioning system, it’s no surprise that things will break eventually and need to be replaced. At Coastal Home Services we know how frustrating it can be for your air conditioning unit to randomly cut off, and self-diagnosing the issue can be extremely difficult and cumbersome. We would love to help you with your heating and air conditioning needs, whether that be coming out to fix a repair or providing routine maintenance on your unit. Whatever your HVAC needs are, our NATE certified team is here to help.

If your heating and air conditioning unit is more than ten years old and reaching the end of its life, the compressor not working when the fan kicks on could be an indicator to think about replacing your unit. If you are experiencing issues with your heating and air conditioning system, let our Trane® certified professionals at Coastal Home Services help you! Our company is the #1 provider for air conditioning and heating services on the Crystal Coast, so you can be confident that you are in the best hands. Whether it’s fixing an issue or providing routine maintenance on your unit, Coast Home Services is the company you can trust. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today or schedule a service using our online form. 

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