Annual AC system maintenance is an important part of owning a home because the risk of an AC breakdown is higher if your equipment is not cleaned and serviced by a professional on a regular basis. Several components in the AC system have to be checked, and the condenser fan is one of them. Here's a look at the important role of the condenser fan and the maintenance the fan might need.
What A Condenser Fan Does
The condenser fan is in the outside part of your AC. It is attached to the grille on the top of the condenser cage. The fan is supposed to cool the condenser coils and keep the other equipment in the condenser cool enough to operate without overheating. If the fan doesn't do its job, the AC won't be able to cool down your home.
Why A Condenser Fan Needs Maintenance
Since it's outdoors, the fan attracts dust, dirt, insects, grass clippings, and other debris and grime. This can clog up the fan or even get stuck on a blade and make the fan hard to spin. If the fan gets gummed up with debris, the motor may overheat trying to spin it.
If the fan gets loose due to vibrations, a blade might catch on the side of the condenser and cause the fan to malfunction. Parts besides the fan, such as the motor, wiring, and capacitor, can malfunction and affect how well the fan works.
How A Condenser Fan Is Maintained
One of the first steps in servicing a condenser fan is to clean it. Once the fan is clean, the blades should be inspected for cracks or other damage, and the blades should be checked to make sure they're in alignment. If the fan is in good shape, this might only take a few minutes, but if a fan blade is cracked or unbalanced, the maintenance technician might need to replace the blades to ensure the fan will operate properly once the AC starts running every day.
The condenser fan relies on electronics to get the power to spin. The AC maintenance technician might need to test the capacitor and motor to ensure they are functioning properly. It might be possible to tell a capacitor is bad by looking to see if it has a bulge or other physical signs of damage.
The wiring is checked to make sure the connections are tight, and if any problems are found with the wiring, capacitor, or motor, repairs are done or scheduled for later so your AC will be in good working order for the summer.
Some condenser fans need to be lubricated. Your AC maintenance technician knows if your AC model needs lubrication and the type to use. Once the fan has been checked and serviced, the technician can start checking other parts of the condenser, such as the coils, compressor, and refrigerant, before going indoors to check the blower and evaporator coils in the air handler.
AC system maintenance involves checking all of your air conditioning equipment to clean it and check for problems. If something is wrong with your air conditioner, it's better to find out early rather than having the AC fail in the middle of summer when the weather is hot and miserable.
To learn more, contact an AC system maintenance contractor.