Are you feeling the heat with your AC unit outside fan not spinning? You’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, we’ll provide you with practical solutions to get your cooling system’s fan motor running properly again. From simple troubleshooting steps to some frequently asked questions, we’ve got you covered.

Top Reasons Your Outdoor AC Fan Stopped Working

Having your AC unit outside fan not spinning is not an uncommon problem. In fact, a lot of homeowners over the years have dealt with it. According to some of them, these are the top reasons why an air conditioner fan could stop working:

  • Faulty Capacitor. A defective capacitor can prevent the fan motor from receiving the necessary electrical charge to start spinning.

  • Fan Motor Failure. Over time, the AC fan motor can wear out or burn out, leading to a complete stoppage of the fan.

  • Contactor Issues. The contactor is responsible for sending power to the fan motor. If it becomes worn or damaged, it can disrupt the electrical connection and cause the fan to stop working.

  • Faulty Thermostat. A malfunctioning thermostat can fail to signal the fan to turn on, resulting in a lack of airflow in your air conditioning system.

  • Blocked or Dirty Fan Blades. Accumulated dirt, debris, or obstructions can hinder the fan blades’ movement, preventing them from spinning.

  • Tripped Breaker or Blown Fuse. A tripped breaker or blown fuse can cut off power to the fan motor, causing it to stop working.

  • Faulty Fan Relay. The fan relay controls the fan’s operation. If it becomes defective, it can interrupt the power supply and halt the fan’s spinning.

  • Wiring Issues. Loose or damaged wiring connections can disrupt the electrical flow to the fan motor, causing it to cease functioning.

  • Overheating. If the AC fan motor overheats due to excessive use or lack of lubrication, it may automatically shut down to prevent further damage.

  • Faulty Control Board. A malfunctioning control board can interfere with the signals sent to the fan motor, leading to its failure to spin.

Steps to Troubleshoot a Faulty AC Unit Fan

To properly troubleshoot a faulty AC unit fan, follow these steps:

  • Check the power supply. Ensure that the AC unit is receiving power by verifying that the circuit breaker box or fuse connected to it is not tripped or blown.

  • Inspect the thermostat. Set the thermostat to “Cool” mode and lower the temperature to see if the fan turns on. If it doesn’t, check the thermostat settings and replace the batteries if necessary.

  • Examine the fan blades. Visually inspect the outdoor fan blades for any obstructions, such as debris or leaves. Clear away any blockages that may be preventing the fan from spinning freely.

  • Test the capacitor. Use a multimeter to check the fan’s capacitor voltage. If it reads zero or significantly lower than the recommended rating, it may be faulty and in need of replacement.

  • Check the contactor. Inspect the contactor for any signs of wear or damage. If the contact points are pitted or burned, it may be preventing the fan motor from receiving power. Replace the contactor if necessary.

  • Verify the fan motor. Test the AC fan motor by manually spinning the blades. If they turn freely, the motor is likely functioning correctly. If not, the motor may be faulty and require replacement.

  • Inspect the wiring connections. Carefully examine the wiring connections, ensuring they are secure and undamaged. Tighten any loose connections and repair or replace any frayed or damaged wires.

  • Check the fan relay. Test the outside AC fan relay by bypassing it with a jumper wire. If the fan starts running, the relay may be defective and should be replaced.

  • Lubricate the fan motor. If the fan motor has oil ports, apply a few drops of lubricating oil to ensure smooth operation. Be sure to use the appropriate oil type recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Consult a professional. If you have gone through these steps and the AC fan still doesn’t work, or if you’re unsure about any troubleshooting procedures, it’s best to contact a qualified HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the issue safely.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when troubleshooting electrical components, so exercise caution and consider professional assistance if needed.

Mistakes to Avoid During Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a broken AC unit fan, it’s important to avoid certain mistakes that can potentially worsen the problem or compromise your safety. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Neglecting safety precautions. Always prioritize safety when working with electrical components. Turn off the power supply before starting any troubleshooting and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary.

  • Skipping the basics. Don’t overlook simple checks like verifying the power supply, thermostat settings, or checking for tripped breakers or blown fuses. These basic steps can sometimes resolve the issue without further troubleshooting.

  • Touching live wires or components. Never touch exposed wires or electrical components while the power supply is connected. Always disconnect the power source before inspecting or working on any part of the AC unit.

  • Disregarding the manufacturer’s guidelines. Each AC unit may have specific troubleshooting instructions provided by the manufacturer. Avoid deviating from these guidelines or neglecting any warnings or precautions mentioned in the user manual.

  • Overlooking routine maintenance. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the fan blades and ensuring proper lubrication, can prevent many AC fan-related issues. Neglecting routine maintenance can lead to more significant problems down the line.

  • Misdiagnosing the problem. Jumping to conclusions and assuming the cause of the issue without proper diagnosis can lead to incorrect repairs or unnecessary part replacements. Take the time to systematically troubleshoot and identify the root cause of the problem.

  • Improperly handling or testing electrical components. If you’re not familiar with handling electrical components or using testing equipment like multimeters, it’s best to leave the task to a trained professional. Mishandling or improper testing can result in further damage or electrical hazards.

  • Rushing through the troubleshooting process. Take your time and be thorough in your troubleshooting steps. Rushing or skipping important checks may result in overlooking key issues or overlooking a simple solution.

  • Attempting complex repairs without expertise. Some AC fan issues may require advanced knowledge and expertise. If you’re not confident in your ability to perform complex repairs or if the problem persists after basic troubleshooting, it’s advisable to consult a professional HVAC technician.

  • Failing to document or remember steps taken. Keep a record of the steps you’ve taken, including any tests performed or parts replaced. This documentation can be helpful if you need to seek professional assistance or refer back to the troubleshooting process later on.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can approach AC fan troubleshooting more effectively and minimize the risk of exacerbating the problem or compromising your safety.


Find your AC unit outside fan not spinning? Don’t let it leave you sweating!

Take control of your comfort by reading the comprehensive guide above. From identifying common issues to implementing effective troubleshooting steps, it equips you with the knowledge to diagnose and fix your AC fan problems.

Stay cool and enjoy a properly functioning cooling system with our guide as your troubleshooting companion.



Why is my outdoor AC fan not spinning?

Your outdoor AC fan may not be spinning due to several possible reasons, such as a faulty capacitor, a malfunctioning or burnt out fan motor, a defective thermostat, or blocked/dirty fan blades. Proper troubleshooting is necessary to identify the specific cause and resolve the issue.

Should the AC fan always spin?

The AC fan should typically spin when the air conditioners is running to circulate cool air and dissipate heat. If the fan is not spinning, it could indicate a bad fan motor, failed capacitor, thermostat, or other components that require further inspection and repair.

Why is my outside AC unit not running?

If you find your unit fan not spinning, it could be due to various factors, including a lack of power supply, a tripped breaker, a blown fuse, a faulty contactor, or a malfunctioning control board. Careful troubleshooting is needed to determine the exact cause and address the problem accordingly.

Why is my AC humming fan not spinning?

If your AC fan is not spinning, it might indicate an issue with the AC fan motors, capacitor, or wiring. The humming sound could be a result of power reaching the motor but not enough to start it. Professional diagnosis is recommended to pinpoint the underlying cause and perform the necessary repairs.

Is Your AC Unit Outside Fan Not Spinning?