Modern air conditioning is something most of us can’t live without. When the mercury rises in the thermometer, we retreat to the cool air comfort of indoors. Nevertheless, if you find your AC fan not spinning, it could be an indication of a serious problem. One that requires the help of a professional HVAC company like Aspire Heating & Cooling.
While today air conditioning has become a necessity, it only became so in the last part of the 20th century. Moreover, central air conditioning didn’t begin as a system to deliver cold air. It actually started as a machine to reduce humidity levels. Back in 1902, a Brooklyn, NY printing company found that humidity caused their paper to expand or contract. At that time, printers applied color ink one at a time. When humidity levels varied, the illustrations were blurry and of poor quality due to this expansion and contraction. This new invention, which removed humidity from the air, laid the building blocks for the modern air conditioning system.
However, it wasn’t until 1947 that lower-cost air conditioners became available for home use. Then, in the 1970s, a centralized system of cooling the house made its debut. Today, central air is standard in most homes and it offers new advanced technology. Many systems have compressor sound insulators for quieter operation and variable speed to reduce temperature fluctuations and energy usage. Some even have Wi-Fi capacity to control your AC from your phone or tablet.
No matter what features your system has, one important fact remains. To keep your system running smoothly and efficiently, you must perform routine maintenance on your unit. Failure to do so can void your warranty, cause higher energy bills, and result in costly breakdowns.
When Was the Last Time You Changed Your Air Filter?
Routinely changing your air filter is a task many of us neglect to do. Yet, having a clean air filter is very important to the proper functioning of our HVAC system. A dirty air filter can cause many problems including malfunction of the AC fan motor. Moreover, a clogged air filter can lower your efficiency by 5-15%.
Most experts recommend changing the air filter at least once every 3 months. If you have a large household or pets, you may have to change it more often. Human beings shed one of the main ingredients of dust, dead skin cells. In fact, the average U.S. home collects about 40 pounds of dust each year. Thus, the more people in your household, the more dust circulating throughout your home.
Air circulating through your home passes through the filter trapping dust and other contaminants. As the filter catches more pollutants, the mesh becomes denser. It becomes harder for air to pass freely through the system. Hence, the blower motor must work harder to circulate the air. This can lead to higher energy bills and eventually a burned-out motor.
Restricted airflow can also cause your evaporator coil to freeze. In a properly functioning system, the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from warm air passing over it. Insufficient warm air will cause ice buildup and eventually, your AC compressor will burn out.
Additionally, you’ll notice less indoor comfort as your system struggles to circulate air through your clogged filter. Also, a dirty air filter can’t trap as many pollutants as a clean filter. Thus, dust, mold, and other particles will be circulating throughout your home reducing your indoor air quality.
Does the Type of Filter Matter?
Manufacturers produce several different styles of air filters with varying MERV ratings. A Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) tells you the filter’s ability to capture particles. Air filters with a higher MERV rating can trap smaller particles than one with a lower rating. However, this doesn’t mean you should run out and buy the highest MERV rated air filter available. These are thicker filters and your system may not be powerful enough able to circulate air through. Check your manufacturer’s guidelines for the optimal rating for your system.
The most commonly used air filters are fiberglass, pleated polyester, or cotton folds. Fiberglass is the least expensive and has the lowest MERV rating. With more surface area, pleated air filters in both polyester or cotton can capture more particles. Typically, their range of MERV ratings is within the limit recommended for residential homes.
There are a few other types of filters: washable, HEPA, electrostatic, and UV. Choosing the right one for your lifestyle can be very confusing. Aspire Heating & Cooling can help you determine which is the best filter for your system and needs.
Other Components A Homeowner Can Check
A faulty thermostat can also be the source of your AC not functioning properly. First, check to make sure your thermostat is receiving power. Some thermostats require batteries and it may be time to change them.
If your thermostat is receiving power, you may need to clean it. Over time, dirt and grime can build up on the inside components. This will prevent the thermostat from correctly gauging the temperature of the inside air. After removing the cover, carefully clean the components with a soft brush or canned compressed air. While you have the cover off, check for loose or corroded wires.
Next, try adjusting your temperature by at least 5 degrees. When you do so, you should hear a clicking sound and the unit should turn on. Although it seems obvious, make sure your thermostat is set to the correct setting. If you’re still experiencing problems, your thermostat may have reached the end of its life. On average, you can expect them to last about 10 years.
Sometimes your AC unit stops working because of a tripped circuit breaker. One of the most common causes of a tripped circuit breaker is a dirty air filter. As your blower motor strains to circulate the air through a clogged filter, it draws more electricity. Additionally, to achieve indoor comfort, your AC unit will run longer. Both of these scenarios can trip your breaker. If changing the air filter doesn’t resolve the problem, it’s time to call a professional.
Should I Set My Thermostat To “On” or “Auto?”
The “on” setting on your thermostat allows the blower fan to run constantly. Some experts claim this creates a more even distribution of cooling because the air continuously circulates. A constantly running fan experiences less stress from starting and stopping. Finally, steadily flowing air over the air filter removes more pollutants.
However, setting your thermostat to “auto” will use a lot less electricity. With this setting, your fan will run only when your system is on. The “auto” setting also provides better dehumidification during the summer months. Generally, as warm air flows over the evaporator coils, moisture from the air condenses on the coil. It then drips into a tray, and out of the house. When the air conditioner fan is constantly running, the moisture blows back into your home.
Moreover, higher humidity in your home is less comfortable. Experts recommend a humidity level of between 30-50%. Running your AC fan constantly can raise your humidity level as high as 70%. Not only will you feel miserable, but this level of humidity is also a breeding ground for mold.
The Problem Could Be the Capacitors
One of the most common causes of your outdoor fan not spinning is a bad capacitor. Capacitors are energy-storing devices similar to batteries. A central air conditioner will have both start and run capacitors for the compressor, blower, and fan. The start capacitor provides a jolt of electricity to start the motor moving. Whereas the run capacitor keeps the motor running smoothly.
Generally, manufacturers design capacitors to last 20 years. However, factors such as heat, power surges, and wrong capacitor size can cause premature failure. Capacitor replacement is best left to the professionals. AC capacitors store a tremendous amount of energy. Improper handling can result in a severe electrical shock.
Maintenance Plans Detect Issues Early On
Some homeowners mistakenly believe they can do without routine maintenance to their AC unit. If you want to save a few bucks, you may incur more expensive repairs down the road. It’s best not to put off your tune-up. Regular tune-ups increase energy efficiency, extend the life of your equipment, and detect minor issues before they become major problems. Without regular, professional servicing, your AC unit may only last half of its average life span.
Your air conditioning unit contains many different components needing professional evaluation. Professional HVAC technicians have all the instruments necessary to check these components. During a tune-up, your technician will check voltage and electrical connections as well as refrigerant levels. Moreover, your technician will clean and adjust your blower motor for optimal efficiency.
Most maintenance plans cover the cleaning of your AC unit’s coils. Over time, both your evaporator and condenser coils will accumulate dirt. Your evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing heat while the condenser coil releases heat. As dirt coats these coils, it forms an insulating barrier. Now the heat exchange cannot efficiently take place. Additionally, the accumulation of dirt may cause the evaporator coil to become too cold and freeze.
If you have neglected the maintenance of your AC unit, call us today. Our service plan delivers 2 site visits per year to ensure your system is working properly. By signing up, you receive an additional 15% off any necessary repairs. Additionally, we’re able to provide you with service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, we’ll be happy to service your system without signing up for a plan. Just call us at 336-936-9111 to set up an appointment.
We Use NATE-Certified Technicians
Homeowners want knowledgeable, efficient service when it comes to the repair and installation of their air conditioning unit. Today’s systems are technologically complex. By hiring a technician who has demonstrated knowledge of today’s increasingly sophisticated systems, you’re assured of excellence and quality.
The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is the nation’s largest nonprofit certification organization for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Certification requires technicians to pass a nationally-recognized test representing a working knowledge of systems. When consumers choose a NATE-certified technician, they’re getting the best service for their heating and cooling system.
At Aspire Heating & Cooling, we employ NATE-certified technicians to provide our customers with excellence and quality service. Our professional technicians arrive on time with minimal disruption to your home. Moreover, we can service any type or brand of HVAC system. Even if you bought your unit elsewhere, we’ll be happy to maintain it for you.
What Happens If I Need A New System?
Sometimes, when you find your AC fan not spinning in your outdoor unit, it may be too expensive to repair. Or you may want to replace your older unit with a newer, more efficient model. A new energy-efficient model may save you 20-40% of your cooling energy costs.
Additionally, if your old unit still uses Freon, you’ll want to replace it. In the United States, you cannot import or produce R-22 (Freon®) as of January 2020. As the supply of R-22 dwindles, it will become more expensive to replace. Today’s units now use the more environmentally-friendly R-410A as the refrigerant.
Replacing your AC unit doesn’t have to be stressful! Aspire Heating & Cooling offers a range of cooling systems, including heat pumps and ductless options. As a Trane authorized dealer, we offer a 10-year parts and labor warranty with a lifetime craftsmanship guarantee. This is one of the strongest in the business! Plus, we offer financing options to qualified customers to meet your budget.
Don’t Panic If You Find Your AC Fan Not Spinning
No one likes to be uncomfortable. That’s why routinely servicing your air conditioner system is important. Your AC fan not spinning is only one of several problems you may experience when you put off maintenance. When you’re looking for a reliable HVAC contractor to service your system, call Aspire Heating & Cooling. There’s a link on every page of our website, so you can explain your upcoming HVAC project or repair needs.
Additionally, we service both commercial and residential HVAC systems.
A veteran-owned and locally operated company, your complete satisfaction is always our goal. Servicing Winston-Salem, Mocksville, Clemmons, Advance, Bermuda Run and the surrounding area, we provide upfront service, honest pricing, and reliable solutions. We are proud to offer some reviews from our satisfied customers, so that you don’t have to take our word for it! Our professionals can service or repair your heat pump, gas furnace, ductless system, or air conditioning unit.
So, if you can’t remember the last time you tuned-up your system, give us a call today at 336-936-9111. Neglecting your AC unit will result in decreased indoor comfort, mechanical issues, and shortened lifespan of your unit.