Winter has come and gone. The temperature is rising, and some places require the help of an air conditioner to withstand the heat. You might have tried switching on your air conditioning unit but find that it isn’t working as it should? A frequent complaint that we get this time of year is when homeowners find that their outside AC unit not running but inside is. This issue is a common one and can be caused by several reasons. Read on to learn about what to do when this happens.
Why Is My Outside AC Unit Not Running But Inside Is?
- 1 Why Is My Outside AC Unit Not Running But Inside Is?
- 2 What Causes The Outdoor Air Conditioner Fan To Stop Working?
- 2.1 Deficient Power Supply To The Air Conditioner
- 2.2 Burnt Out Air Conditioner Fan Motor
- 2.3 Air Conditioner Contactor Problems
- 2.4 Bad Air Conditioner Capacitors
- 2.5 Debris On The Air Conditioner Axle
- 2.6 What If The Entire Outside Air Conditioning Unit Isn’t Functioning?
- 2.7 Air Conditioner Thermostat Settings
- 2.8 Dirty Outside Compressor Unit
- 2.9 Air Conditioner Safety Switch Lock
- 2.10 Tripped Air Conditioner Circuit Breaker
- 2.11 Air Conditioner Compressor Failure
- 2.12 Conclusion
- 3 Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
The cooling systems’ indoor and outdoor cooling units work together to generate the set temperature. If one of these units isn’t running, the house will not cool down regardless of how much time passes. Here are two ways to determine if the outside unit is running or not:
- Listen For Any Sound Coming From The Condenser: The complete absence of sound is one of the tell-tale symptoms the outdoor unit isn’t working. Some units are made to operate quietly, but they still produce a low hum. The motors and compressors aren’t working if there is no sound coming from the condenser at all.
- There Is Warm Air Coming Out From The Indoor Air Handler: Place a hand near the air conditioner’s indoor unit. If it releases hot air instead of cold air, the outside AC unit isn’t working as it should. The warm air only passes through the system when the equipment should be cooling it.
What Causes The Outdoor Air Conditioner Fan To Stop Working?
The problem can be frequently attributed to fan failure. The blades aren’t moving, but the other components of the outdoor unit may be working fine. This issue can occur even if you diligently replace your air filters and conduct other upkeep tasks. Here are the most likely causes behind a fan that stops spinning:
Deficient Power Supply To The Air Conditioner
Fan motors are electricity-powered. If they do not receive sufficient power, they will not spin properly. It can be a challenge to pinpoint the exact inhibitor in some cases. Call an experienced HVAC technician to help you and make the proper diagnosis.
Burnt Out Air Conditioner Fan Motor
Excessive stress can cause motor burnout. Motors can also succumb to wear and tear as time passes, which is only hastened with poor maintenance. Regular upkeep is crucial in repairing the problem at its earliest stages and preventing costly repairs in the future.
Air Conditioner Contactor Problems
The contactor controls the fan motor. Any type of failure for this component can keep the blades from working as they should. Do not attempt a DIY repair on this issue as it might worsen. Call an HVAC expert immediately to ensure you receive a reliable solution.
Bad Air Conditioner Capacitors
Bad capacitors are another cause of outside fan failures. These parts store power, so the blades keep spinning. They are comparable to batteries that lose their energy storage capabilities after heavy use. Power surges and high temperatures can also cause damage to these components. Once the capacitor fails, it cannot power the fan.
Slide a long wooden stick through the fan grate to determine if this is the problem. Use the stick to nudge the blades gently. You are likely dealing with a bad capacitor if the blades start rotating. After some time, the fan won’t spin even if you kickstart it. Let a professional handle the replacement process as it involves high voltage and sensitive electrical components.
Debris On The Air Conditioner Axle
An external force like that applied using the stick should be sufficient to make the blades spin. If it isn’t working, check for any debris in the fan axle. There could also be dirt buildup in the motor’s bearings. Have an HVAC expert disassemble and clean all components for unobstructed movement.
What If The Entire Outside Air Conditioning Unit Isn’t Functioning?
At times, the fans might not be the only component that has stopped working. It could be that the whole outside air conditioning unit isn’t running at all. This is a significant issue that requires professional assistance. No one wants to have a non-functioning air conditioner in the summer, so you should get it fixed right away. Here are the possible reasons behind the sudden system breakdown:
Air Conditioner Thermostat Settings
Check the basics to ensure that you have the correct system set up before going through the worst-case situations. First, check the thermostat settings. Someone might have pushed the wrong buttons and had set the temperatures too high. Lower the temperature setting to see if that changes anything. You might even notice that the thermostat isn’t powered on. Replace the batteries with fresh ones and try again.
Dirty Outside Compressor Unit
A dirty outdoor unit can lead to the compressor overheating. This is because the thick layer of dust stops the heat from getting released outside. When the heat becomes too much, the system will shut down. Check the unit for dirt and debris. Remember to switch off the power and disconnect the unit before cleaning. You can also call an experienced HVAC technician to clean the dirty compressor for you.
Air Conditioner Safety Switch Lock
Air conditioners are equipped with safety switches. These components lock the outdoor unit when there is a potential danger. You need to reset them so they can start again. Turn the system off through the thermostat or breaker to do a reset. Wait for a minute before turning it on again. Check if your cooling unit is back to normal. If it isn’t, hire an HVAC technician to help you with further troubleshooting.
Tripped Air Conditioner Circuit Breaker
A recent thunderstorm might have caused power surges that overloaded your circuit breakers. Check the circuit panel for tripped breakers. Reset them by turning them off and then on again. If you live in an older home, you might have a fuse box instead. A fuse might have been blown, so these need replacing. If your air conditioner has a fuse at the shut-off box, contact a professional for replacement. The breakers may constantly trip at times to try and normalize the situation. This only means that there is a deeper electrical problem that requires the attention of a licensed electrician.
Air Conditioner Compressor Failure
The most crucial air conditioner component is the compressor. It pumps the refrigerant throughout the system at the correct pressure level. The air conditioner cannot cool the indoor air if the air conditioner compressor fails. A sign that it is failing is if it stutters or you hear a loud sound when you turn your air conditioner on. Eventually, it will stop turning on altogether. Repairing this issue can be expensive and, in some cases, you might even need a full HVAC system upgrade. To avoid unnecessary air conditioner issues from occurring in the first place, be sure to schedule an annual air conditioner tune-up in the spring, before the heat rolls in.
It can be disconcerting when the outdoor unit isn’t working when the indoor unit is running. A quick check may point out the reason behind this, and, at times, your air conditioner may return to normal operations with minimal effort. However, it is also possible that the issue is more complicated than a regular individual can deal with. If so, contact your local, trusted HVAC technician right away. They can determine the likely culprit and conduct the necessary repairs. This way, your air conditioner will run as it did again.
Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
PFO Heating & Air Conditioning provides top-notch HVAC services in the Greater Princeton, NJ area. We have only the best professionally certified technicians for all your heating and cooling needs, including air conditioner tune-ups, mini-split repairs, boiler installations, and many more. Each of our techs has the right tools, skills, knowledge, and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.
Our company offers the most competitive heating and cooling service rates in the locality. Rest assured, our maintenance services can increase your energy efficiency and comfort while reducing your home energy costs. When you need to repair or replace your HVAC system, we can recommend the best solution for your home that’s within your budget. We back all our work with a guarantee. Schedule a service appointment with PFO Heating & Air Conditioning today. We offer free, in-home estimates.