Are you wondering, ‘How much does it cost to replace a condenser fan motor?’ If so, we can help.
In this guide, you will learn:
- What is a condenser fan motor?
- Can you run your AC with a broken condenser fan motor?
- How much will it cost you to replace your condenser fan motor?
- How often do you have to repair your air conditioner’s condenser fan motor?
- What causes a fan motor to fail?
Condenser fan motors are one of the most common AC unit components to fail. So, it can really help homeowners to know how much replacing this part costs and how to keep it working efficiently longer.
That is why we created this comprehensive guide to help you troubleshoot your AC fan motor, properly maintain it, and plan for replacing it.
What's In This Guide?
What Is Your Condenser Fan Motor?
The condenser fan motor powers the large fan blades in your outdoor air conditioner unit, which blow cool air over the condenser coil fins to help cool the hot refrigerant gas returning it to a liquid state.
The fan is essential as it prevents your HVAC system from overheating. Without it, your air conditioner will not blow cold air.
What Is The Difference Between A Blower Motor And A Condenser Fan Motor?
If an HVAC professional tells you, you need a new AC fan motor; they could be referring to the blower motor of the condenser fan motor. So, what is the difference?
The blower motor is in the indoor air handler unit, and it blows heated or cooled air through your air ducts and into your home. Your condenser fan motor is in the outdoor unit, containing the compressor, condenser coil, and condenser fan.
What Happens When Your Air Conditioning Condenser Fan Motor Breaks?
When your condenser fan motor malfunctions, it will cause your AC system to stop blowing cold air. If your fan motor is still running, but it is inefficient, your system will struggle to maintain the temperature you set on the thermostat.
Are There Signs That You Need To Replace Your Condenser Fan Motor?
Condenser fan motors can go out without any notice. However, if you notice these signs, you might need to replace the fan motor sooner rather than later, because when the motor stops working, your HVAC will no longer cool your home:
- Your energy bills are higher than normal.
- Your air conditioner is struggling to maintain a comfortable temperature.
- The fan is moving slowly.
- You hear a strange noise coming from the outdoor unit.
- The fan does not start even when the unit is on.
- The fan runs constantly.
Are There Ways Of Troubleshooting Your Condenser Fan Motor?
If your AC fan motor is not working correctly, there are a few things you can do to try to get it working before you contact a repair service.
Make Sure Your Thermostat Is Set Correctly
The thermostat is like the brain of your HVAC system. If you do not set it correctly, your AC will not turn on. Or it may not run correctly.
To test your fan motor, make sure your thermostat is installed correctly, and the batteries are good. Then, you need to set the thermostat to cool, and the temperature needs to be at least 10 degrees cooler than the temperature in your home.
If the fan comes on and is spinning fast, it was likely just a problem with your thermostat settings.
Replace Your Air Conditioner Filters
Dirty air filters can restrict airflow and put a strain on your HVAC system. So, anytime you are troubleshooting your air conditioner, you change the air filter.
Check For Tripped Breakers In The Circuit Board
A tripped breaker can prevent your outdoor unit from running. There are two places you need to look for a tripped breaker.
Outside by your compressor unit, there is a switch. It is usually on an outside wall in a small box.
If the switch is off, your fan will not run. You also need to check your indoor circuit board for any tripped breakers.
Examine The Outside Fan
Branches, leaves, and other debris can get inside your condenser unit and block the fan from rotating. First, examine the unit while it is on to see if you hear any strange noises or if the fan is rotating properly.
Then, to prevent the fan from accidentally turning on, turn your AC off at the thermostat and turn the condenser unit off at the outdoor breaker box. You can then remove the top grate and clean out any leaves or anything interfering with the fans rotating blades.
Never remove the top grate or stick anything in the condenser unit while it is on or perform any maintenance without first turning power to the unit off outside. Otherwise, the fan could turn on causing further damage to your fan motor or bodily injury.
Clear Debris Around The Condenser Unit
Your condenser unit needs plenty of airflow to function properly. If leaves, plants, or debris are crowding it, your unit may stop working.
So, make sure the area is clear. As a rule of thumb, you should always leave a space of at least two feet around the unit. You should also refrain from covering your AC or hanging anything above it.
Doing so can restrict the cool air and cause the unit to overheat or run inefficiently.
Test The Run Capacitor
If you have the tools and know-how you can test your run capacitor with a multimeter. Or you can try kickstarting the fan blades.
To kickstart the fan blades, you need to turn your air conditioner on and carefully with a stick, push the fan blade to get it started. Do not block the blade with the tool.
If you are able to kickstart the fan, the AC capacitor is likely causing your fan not to run properly. The capacitor is the part within your AC unit responsible for starting the fan.
When it is bad, your condenser fan will not start or stop when it is supposed to.
For more information on testing your run capacitor, check out this video:
Check For Refrigerant Leaks
Although low refrigerant levels should not directly cause your fan to stop working, it can cause stress on your system. You can check for low refrigerant levels by checking your system for ice.
If you see ice on the evaporator coil, refrigerant lines, or on the outside unit, you likely need to have your system recharged.
How Much Will An HVAC Repair Or AC Fan Motor Replacement Cost?
Even the highest quality fan motors from reputable brands like Lennox, Trane, and Goodman wear out over time. Fan motors are one of the most common HVAC components to fail.
If you replace your condenser fan motor as soon as it goes out, you may be able to replace the motor alone. However, when your condenser fan motor stops working, it puts a strain on other components.
So, you may need to replace other parts, as well.
Condenser Fan Motor Cost Guide
A broken condenser fan motor could be a sign that your outdoor AC unit is failing. If you need to replace the entire unit, it could cost you thousands.
Fortunately, there are many things that could cause the fan not to work. So, you may be looking at a much less expensive HVAC contractor repair bill.
Fan Motor Replacement
Condenser fan motors are actually one of the cheaper AC components you may have to replace. Fan motors cost between $300 and $600 installed.
Run Capacitor Replacement
Run capacitors are relatively inexpensive to replace in comparison with other AC parts because the replacement part is usually between $10 and $100. The total run capacitor replacement will only set you back a total of between $220 and $250.
AC Compressor Replacement
Replacing your AC compressor will cost between $800 and $2,800. However, the average compressor replacement cost is $1,200 including labor costs.
Total AC Replacement
Pricing for replacing both your indoor and outdoor AC units is between $3,500 and $10,000 with the average cost being $5,000 including labor costs. Experts suggest that if you change one, you change the other.
While a fan motor replacement might not set you back all that much, it could be a sign that your HVAC is breaking down. You can prolong the life of your air conditioner by replacing parts before they damage other components.
Final Advice On Condenser Fan Motor Repair Costs
The best way to save money on costly repairs is to properly maintain your air conditioner and have regular tuneups performed by an AC service company.
However, if you have an aging HVAC system, it is only a matter of time until an essential component like your condensing fan motor breaks. If you have an HVAC company maintain your system, they may have informed you that you will need to replace your condenser fan motor.
If you have been advised that you need a new condenser fan motor, you should schedule a service call as soon as possible. If you need help paying for AC repairs, a home warranty plan that covers your air conditioner or heat pump can really help. However, it is essential that you purchase your plan as soon as possible.
Most home service plans have a thirty-day waiting period and, depending on which carrier you choose your plan may not cover pre-existing conditions. So, even if you are able to get your unit working using these DIY tips, a home warranty can really come in handy when you do need an HVAC technician to take a look at your system.