Air Conditioner Fan Not Spinning Or Turning On (Causes)

Nothing is more annoying than a malfunctioning AC on a hot day. So when you notice the AC fan not spinning, you’re in for a sweltering time!

You may also notice the air conditioner running, but the fan is not spinning. This indicates your AC needs professional help and some necessary resuscitation.

So if you are seeking causes responsible for your HVAC fan not working, keep reading. This article will discuss the ultimate reasons why the AC fan does not turn on or why your central air fan is not working.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Fan Not Spinning Or Turning On? (Common Causes & How To Fix It)

Besides clearing your concerns regarding your AC fan not spinning, some methods of fixing these issues include:

Rooftop HVAC System

Circuit Breaker Problems

One of the most common reasons your air conditioning fan won’t turn on is the problem with the circuit breaker.

The issues occur in the circuit due to power instability. When too much or irregular patterns of power are pumped into the circuit, it sometimes overheats. As a result, the AC fan stops working after a while.

How To Fix It?

The tripping or overheating of the circuit is not a significant ailment. However, you will need to switch off the air conditioner and let it rest for a while. After some time, the fan will start working again normally.

Bad Compressor

The problems in the compressor of the air conditioner are passively responsible for the AC fan not working.

In this situation, the fan turns on, but the compressor does not. This means that the compressor coils are not accepting the fan’s air to transform the gas into cool air.

As a result, you will notice warm air blowing out of the AC or strange whirring noises coming out of the compressor. As a result, it would seem like the AC fan is not functioning correctly.

How To Fix It?

In some situations, tripping the circuit breaker might be responsible for the inaccurate functioning of the compressor.

Therefore, try resetting the circuit breaker. However, if the problems still do not solve and the AC fan starts then stops, it is better to call for an HVAC technician.

In most cases, they will repair the compressor. But sometimes, you may be required to change the compressor.

Broken Motor

The motor in the condenser is responsible for the optimal functioning of the fan. This motor turns on the fan’s blades and creates the air that will be transported to the coils.

But, sometimes problems can occur in the motor of the fan. Therefore, in such situations, the fan stops.

How To Fix It?

The only way to make the air conditioner fan work again is by calling for a technician. This way, the motor can be repaired efficiently and correctly.

However, there is a limit regarding how many times you can repair this motor. After this limit is exceeded, the AC motor will only be able to be replaced entirely.

Broken Fan Blades

If your air conditioner is old and the AC fan is not turning on, one of the causes might be the fan’s damaged or worn-out blades. You can inspect this ailment visually too. If you look into the outer unit, you can see the fan.

Thus, if the fan’s blades seem to be damaged, it might be why the fan of the AC is not working.

How To Fix It?

If the damage is minor, the fan’s blades can be repaired. Otherwise, it will need to be replaced. To fix this ailment, you will be required to call for an HVAC expert.

Contactor Problems

The contactor is a device situated inside the compressor. It seems small, but it holds utter importance in the precise functioning of the fan. It is responsible for the optimistic flow of electricity through the entire air conditioning system. Due to this constant wave of electricity, the fan of the AC works.

However, problems can sometimes arise in this contactor or become worn out over the period. This ultimately results in an abruption in the working of the fan.

Moreover, if the damage to the contactor of the AC is not solved for a prolonged period, it becomes dead, and the fan of the AC utterly stops.

How To Fix It?

In this case, the HVAC expert would be required to replace the contactor since the contactor of the AC cannot be repaired.

How To Tell If My AC Fan Is Not Spinning?

A set of Split Air Conditioning Unit Condenser on an Orange Wall

The fan is not situated outside the condenser. Therefore, you cannot decipher signs that the AC fan is bad or not by visually inspecting it.

However, determining the problems related to an AC fan not turning on is not that difficult. In fact, in case of the AC inside fan not working, you can know it immediately.

But those who are not familiar with these signs confuse them for other technical problems.

When the AC fan motor is hot and not spinning, the rest of the AC system will be working fine. But, instead of cool air, regular gas will be gushing out of the air conditioner.

Therefore, for optimal functioning of an AC, it is essential to ensure the air conditioner’s fan works accurately.

There is never a solitary reason why the air conditioner fan won’t turn on. In fact, there can be multiple causes behind this problem.

Therefore, diagnosing the causes of the central air fan not working will help you repair the AC system.

How To Prevent AC Fan Problems?

Central AC Unit Between Backdoor Stairs and Wood Planked Wall

If your HVAC fan is not running, you must take preventive measures before causing more damage. Here are some tips to prevent this:

  • Clean the fan and the compressor regularly. Unfortunately, most people only focus on cleaning the AC unit and ignore the outer system. As a result, dirt and debris can accumulate in the chamber over time and damage the fan blades or other parts of the AC.
  • Look for tell-tale signs of degradation in the air conditioner from time to time. By doing so, you will prevent the problems from accumulating, causing greater expense.
  • After every season, call for an HVAC expert to inspect and service the air conditioner. Similarly, it is also advised to get the AC serviced before starting it during the beginning of the hot season and after the season when it goes on a break.
  • Also, maintain the circuit of the air conditioner. Problems causing the malfunctioning of the AC fan might arise due to an inaccurate power supply from the circuit.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Does inadequate maintenance affect the working of the AC fan?

Yes, inadequate air conditioner maintenance is also one factor regarding what causes the AC fan to stop working. Regular servicing is also required to prevent the fan from being damaged.

Can you run AC if the fan is not working?

Yes, one can run the AC if the fan is not working. But it won’t be working accurately, and you would not be getting cool air from the air conditioner as well. Therefore, for the proper functioning of the air conditioner, you would be required to repair or replace the fan of the air conditioner.

Can I fix the AC fan not spinning myself?

If the problem is related to the tripping of the circuit, then you can fix it yourself. Otherwise, a professional HVAC technician will be required to solve most of the air conditioner’s fan problems.

Can you replace just the AC unit fan?

If your fan is not working in the central air conditioner, you can replace them. However, it would cost you around $300-$500, depending upon the size of the AC, so make sure you only buy from reputable sellers.

How do you reset an air conditioner fan?

To reset the fan of an air conditioner, you would need to restart the AC. You can do it by flipping the circuit breaker and restarting it after some time.

How much does it cost to fix an AC fan not spinning?

The cost of fixing the fan depends upon the nature of the problem. However, an average AC fan repair might cost you around $300-$1000. But replacing the unit might even be more expensive.


These were some primary causes responsible for the AC fan not spinning. However, if you still don’t understand why your air conditioner’s outside unit fan is not working, it is advised to call for an expert.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.