Your air conditioning system relies on three different motors to work properly. The AC condenser outside your house has two motors — one that powers the condenser fan and one that powers the compressor. Inside your home is a third motor that powers the blower fan. Any of these motors can potentially burn out due to overheating, and they can also simply fail due to normal wear and tear. When this happens, you will need to have a certified AC technician inspect your system and replace the motor if needed. Let’s now take a look at how each motor is replaced and also the signs that can indicate motor replacement is necessary.
The blower fan motor is located in your HVAC air handler and works to circulate cool or hot air throughout the home whenever your AC or furnace is running. When the blower motor begins to fail, it will often start to make loud noises every time it runs. If you hear a squealing noise coming from the blower fan, this indicates that its bearings are worn out and the motor needs replaced.
A failing blower motor may also result in much less air circulation than normal. If the motor is completely burnt out, it won’t turn on at all and you’ll have no air blowing out of your vents.
Replacing the blower fan motor is a fairly simple job. After opening the air handler, the technician will disconnect the wires that run from the blower to the control board. They will then unbolt the fan from the air handler and remove the entire fan assembly. Finally, they will remove the old motor from the housing and replace it with the new part and then reconnect the fan assembly and rewire the motor.
The condenser fan sits at the top of the outdoor unit and works to help release heat back outside. As with the blower fan motor, loud grinding or squealing noises are typically the first sign that the condenser fan motor is failing. In some cases, the fan will fail to shut off and continue to run even after your AC shuts off. It may also spin much more slowly than normal or not turn on at all.
Replacing the condenser fan motor is also fairly simple. In the condenser unit, the fan assembly is connected to the cover on the unit. Removing the cover also removes the fan blades. From there, the technician will disconnect the wiring, remove the old motor, and then rewire the new one in its place. The fan blades and motor are then put back on and the system is tested to make sure everything is working properly.
The compressor motor is the heartbeat of an AC system. It works to pump refrigerant throughout the system and also compresses the refrigerant to lower its temperature. If the compressor motor starts to give out, it will result in a huge decrease in the system’s cooling capacity. This means that your AC will run for longer and have far less of an effect on indoor temperature. If the motor dies completely, your entire AC system will fail to turn on.
A burnt-out compressor motor is the biggest AC issue you can face and will usually require you to replace the entire condenser unit. While replacing the compressor motor is usually possible, it typically doesn’t make sense due to the high cost. In most cases, replacing the compressor motor will cost about the same as replacing the entire outdoor unit. The only exception is if your AC unit is under warranty as then you will only need to pay the labor fees and not for any of the replacement parts.
The parts alone can often cost well over $1,000. You can also expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars more in labor charges as the job typically takes close to a full day. This is because the technician will first need to drain and capture all of the refrigerant. They will then need to remove the fan assembly to reach the compressor motor. After replacing the motor, the system will then need to be recharged with refrigerant.
If you’re having any issues with your AC motors, you can count on Swanton Energy Services for any repairs or motor replacements. Our NATE-certified technicians service all makes and models of cooling and heating equipment and have years of AC and heating repair experience. We also specialize in providing AC and furnace installation and replacement and indoor air quality solutions for residents of the Atlantic Highlands area, and we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our work. To schedule an AC service appointment, give us a call today.