Oct 01, 2018

Wondering what to do if your air conditioner fan runs but the condenser does not? Newcomb and Company has the answers! We’ll give you the facts behind this distressing issue, and show you how to troubleshoot. Let’s start with the basics.

How Do I Know My Air Conditioner Fan Runs But Condenser Does Not?

The first step is to verify that this is actually the problem. (If you’re confused about any of the terms we use, our HVAC glossary can help.) You can tell that your air conditioner fan is running because it’s making noise. If you’re not sure if the air conditioner fan is running, go outside and take a look at your HVAC unit. The fan should be visible, although you may have to remove a grille to see it. If the air conditioner is on, the fan should be spinning. When your air conditioner fan runs but the condenser does not, warm air will come out of your ducts.

Common Condenser Problems

The condenser unit itself has several components, including the coil, motor, and circuit board. Any one of these parts could fail. Here are some of the most common issues we see with condenser units.


The condenser is outside, so it’s a magnet for dirt, leaves, grass, and other kinds of plant matter. Before you do anything else, check the area around your AC unit. Clear at least two feet of space around it, so it doesn’t get clogged with debris. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your AC unit, open it up and make sure there’s nothing gumming up the works.


While dirt and debris can clog your unit externally, internal blockages are not uncommon. Over time, the condenser unit simply begins to break down, with metal particles flaking away. These flakes can clog or block the tubes in the condenser. You’ll need to have your condenser unit replaced if this is the case.


Condenser coils are the fins located on the outside of your unit. These can become damaged in many ways, including bad weather like hail, debris accumulation, or a botched attempt to straighten the fins. Clean the coils first to see if this fixes the problem. If you still think your air conditioner fan runs but condenser does not, call a professional.


After years of use, tubes and seals begin to break down and crack or loosen. The refrigerant escapes through these cracks, so your HVAC system is ineffective. This is challenging to diagnose on your own. Unfortunately, individual tubes and seals can’t be replaced. You’ll need to replace either the condenser or the entire HVAC unit.

The condenser is an integral part of your HVAC unit, and repairs typically require professional assistance. At Newcomb and Company, our technicians are certified by NATE – the best in the industry. We’ll help you figure out why it seems like your air conditioner fan runs but condenser does not. Then, we’ll repair or replace your unit so you feel comfortable again.

Need help? Call now.