Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

Proper Care of the HVAC Condensor Fan Motor

Do you know that the condenser fan that sits inside your outdoor unit has a big role in the reliable performance of the entire HVAC system? If problems develop with the fan motor, the blades can stop spinning and moving air across the condenser coil. Simply taking proper care of your HVAC condenser fan motor can prevent possible repercussions like ineffective cooling, component damage or premature failure.

Essential Fan Motor Care: Avoid Overheating

Fans used in condenser units can tolerate a fair amount of heat and keep running, but their limit is usually about 150 degrees. If the temperature inside the cabinet rises above that limit for any reason, the fan motor can quit working, and this puts the other equipment it contains at risk of damage or failure – including the most costly component, the compressor.

Developing problems with the condenser fan motor will typically give you some warning signs:

  • Warmer airflow from your HVAC vents
  • A humming/buzzing sound from inside the outdoor unit
  • A condenser cabinet that is hot to the touch – not just warm
  • The odor of melting wiring at the condenser cabinet

Possible Causes of Condenser Fan Motor Failure

Your condenser fan motor might overheat, work unreliably or fail completely due to various reasons:

  • Failed capacitor. If the capacitor is faulty, the fan might slow down, or it might quit working.
  • Electrical issues. A faulty circuit board or damaged wiring can cause the fan to run unpredictably, or give out completely.
  • Restricted airflow. If there isn't sufficient airflow through the condenser unit due to a lack of clearance around the cabinet, the fan is vulnerable to overheating and failing.
  • No maintenance. If you aren't keeping up with regular maintenance, a lack of lubrication or dirt buildup can cause the fan motor to overheat and eventually seize up.

Yearly professional maintenance that includes checking the electrical components, lubricating the motor and cleaning the fan can keep it working properly, so problems don't develop.

To schedule preventive maintenance and HVAC condenser fan motor care for your North San Diego home, contact us at Sherlock Plumbing Heating & Air.