In the heat of summers, the worst thing that could happen to you is an AC that does not work properly. Instead of relaxing is nice and cool air you find yourself bearing the brunt of warm air. This happens when the AC fan is running, but the compressor does not kick in. Considering how often your air conditioner runs, it isn’t surprising that something has gone wrong with the compressor. This does not translate to a death sentence for your AC. So don’t panic. Your AC compressor is not working, but the fan is running, so the situation is not too dire. Through the medium of this article, we shall help you understand why this could be happening.
AC Compressor Not Working But Fan Is Running
You may be wondering why the AC fan is running even when the compressor is not working. Often the problem is simple enough, and you can deal with it yourself. In some rare cases, you may require an HVAC technician to come and have a look at it.
1. Incorrect Thermostat Setting Or Faulty Thermostat – Somebody may have, by mistake, changed the thermostat settings. You expected the compressor to work to cool the room, but the thermostat read the room as already cool enough. So there was no need for the compressor to start. If that is the case, all you need to do is change the thermostat to the correct setting. If the thermostat is faulty, which your AC technician can tell you, the only option is to replace it.
2. Dirty Coil And Filters – Dirty condenser coils and air filters can put undue pressure on the compressor, causing it to overheat. At such times, the compressor shuts down automatically. If you fail to clean the air filters and the condenser coil your compressor may actually go belly up. Instead of waiting for that to happen, clean the condenser coils, and change the air filters, remove all obstructions and blockages in the vents so that air flows freely.
3. Unit Not Receiving Power – If you have a split AC, there is a possibility that the outside unit which houses the compressor is not getting power. The fan is working because the inside unit faces no such problem. For this, you need to have some knowledge about the electricals. You will have to examine the wiring that connects the two units. You also need to check the circuit breaker for a trip and also whether there is a blown fuse or not. If you are unable to do these things on your own, call an AC technician to check things out for you.
4. Capacitor And Relay Problems – AC Capacitor and relay are critical to supplying power to the compressor. A majority of the times these are what cause the compressor problems. Good news is that they happen to be cheap and so will not tax your pockets unnecessarily. However, replacing them is a little tricky, and so you may want a qualified technician to deal with them.
5. Dead Compressor – When little problems are left unattended, they blow out of proportions and cause major damage. One such damage that can be caused by an overheating unit and a faulty capacitor is a dead compressor. When the compressor is dead, your only option is to replace it with a new one as no repairs can be carried out. A compressor change should only be handled by an HVAC expert.
6. Mismatch Between Indoor And Outdoor Unit – In split AC you cannot just replace the complete unit (indoor or outdoor), on your whims and fancies, if there is a problem. The two units are matched to each other. If recently you have replaced either of your units, and the compressor is not working, it may indicate to the fact that the two units are not matched. This is an expensive mistake. You may want to consult your HVAC company for knowing your options.
7. A Decade Old Unit – Your AC may be really old and already past its useful, productive life. With age, internal components deteriorate due to wear and tear. AC compressor not working but fan is running, may happen to be one of the ways in which the problem manifests itself. If your unit is old, its best to buy a new one to avoid future problems.
What Happens When The AC Compressor Malfunctions
When there is an AC compressor failure, you may face one or more of these situations –
- Strange noises coming from the outdoor unit.
- Shaking in the outdoor unit when it starts.
- Compressor fails to start altogether.
- Warm air coming from the air conditioner.
- Your AC keeps tripping the circuit breaker.
Can AC Compressor Be Repaired
In some cases, the AC compressor can be repaired. However, this is one call which is best left to the experts in the field. Remember, the compressor is the very heart of your air conditioner. Sometimes a bad heart can be repaired, but at other times the only way to save the complete mechanism is through a heart transplant. Try to understand why your AC technician is advising you to replace the compressor instead of repairing it. If doubts persist, you can take the opinion of another technician from a different company.
Maintenance Can Solve Most Issues
Overlooking maintenance may seem to save you a few dollars, but the fact remains that it is necessary to keep your AC in good working condition. During maintenance itself, many things which damage the compressor get addressed. An expensive repair at a later on date or a relatively cheap annual maintenance, the choice is yours to make.
In The End
AC compressor not working but fan is running, this may cause you some discomfort and concern. But the best course of action is to get an HVAC expert to check the problem for you. Even if the issue is small, your AC would have got a complete checkup to prevent any more further concerns. Don’t wait for an issue to escalate, at the first sight of it book an appointment with an HVAC expert.