When we get this question at Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling, our first step is to explain that your air conditioner has a few different motors. Motors in air conditioning systems move the air through the system and your home. They also move the refrigerant. You may notice a motor in your air conditioning system is either not moving or moving very slowly. That does not necessarily mean the motor needs replacement. It does mean we need to come out and get your air conditioning system working again for you.

Condenser Fan Motor

The condenser fan motor is vital to how well your air conditioning system works and is in the condensing unit. It transfers heat from the refrigerant system into the outdoors, which keeps the compressor from overheating. If the compressor overheats, it could lead to an expensive repair or make it necessary to replace your air conditioner. It has either a single or dual capacitor. Usually, a capacitor is the issue, and it probably failed because of extreme heat.

Our first step will be to turn off the power to the air conditioner and drain the capacitor of electricity. Next, we test the capacitor and the motor to determine which one is responsible for the problem. Based on our diagnosis, we will then replace the capacitor, the motor, or both.

If the condenser motor is the problem, we follow a specific procedure when replacing it. We measure the fan blade before we even take it out of the air conditioner. We do this because the wrong size fan blade or poor placement will make your condenser motor overheat and burn out. We take extra care to ensure the fan blade’s pitch is correct. If the angle is wrong, the fan will not move enough air to cool the motor sufficiently.

With careful and detailed work, we get your air conditioner running again so you and your family can get back to enjoying the summer.

Blower Motor

The blower motor powers the fan in your air conditioner that pushes the cooled air out of the system and into your home. The blower motor is the part of the air conditioner that cools your home to the temperature set on your thermostat.

The blower motor looks a lot like the condenser motor but has many more wires for us to disconnect, and after we fix the problem, reconnect. We will inspect all these wires to ensure none have become damaged or worn as part of our procedure. This motor also has a capacitor which we will drain before proceeding for safety reasons.

One common cause of blower motor failure is clogged vent holes. The motor becomes overheated because of a lack of air circulation and fails. We will figure out why dirt is getting into the system despite the presence of a filter to prevent debris from causing this problem. Finally, we will replace the blower motor, clean the blower and test the system for proper functioning. Otherwise, this type of breakdown will happen again over time.

If the blower motor did not overheat, the capacitor for the motor is the most likely culprit. One sign of capacitor failure we look for is a blower motor turning in the wrong direction. It will look like it is functioning normally but fails to move much air. Eventually, the lack of airflow will cause the evaporator coil to freeze. An air conditioner with a frozen coil will not be able to cool your home.

After determining what caused your blower motor to fail, we will replace any defective parts and reassemble your air conditioner. We will test the motor and also ensure the evaporator coil is operating properly before letting you know that it is okay to continue using your AC as usual.

ECM Motor

An electronically commutated motor (ECM) lowers the total electrical consumption of your air conditioner and helps maintain proper airflow through the system. An ECM motor has an electrical control module attached. If we diagnose your ECM motor as faulty, we may have to contact a supply house to get a new one. This is because some models need programming specific to your air conditioning system before we can do the installation.

Whether we had to send out for the ECM motor or were able to program the motor ourselves, our next step is to install it. Note that only very experienced technicians should work on these types of motors as they tend to be fairly complex.

Compressor Motor

Your compressor is the pump that pushes the refrigerant through your air conditioner’s system. If the compressor motor is not functioning correctly, the refrigerant will not travel through your air conditioner properly. The result is that your air conditioner will not be able to cool your home to the temperature you set or not at all in the case of a total breakdown.

The motor compressors for your central air conditioning are hermetically sealed. A hermetic seal means that all the compressor’s parts, including the motor, are encased in an airtight metal container. The reason compressors are hermetically sealed is so they can’t leak refrigerant. Inhaling refrigerant can potentially cause serious respiratory issues.

We cannot work on your compressor in the field when we arrive to fix your air conditioner because of its hermetically sealed housing. Instead, we will replace it with a new or reconditioned compressor. We will take your old compressor, with the refrigerant sealed inside, and send it out for reconditioning. As with all the work we do, we will test the compressor replacement to ensure everything checks out before letting you know the job is complete.

Leave Working on AC Motors to the Professionals

Overall, air conditioners operate at very high levels of alternating current. They need incredible amounts of energy to cycle on. This is why they have capacitors to store energy and give them a boost. One moment of inattention or a lack of understanding can lead to a severe electric shock. Turning off the power before attempting to service an air conditioning unit is just the start of the job. You can suffer a severe electric shock if you do not properly discharge capacitors before servicing the unit.

In addition, lack of experience can lead to improper placement of motors or their fans. For example, getting the angle or length of the fan blade wrong when working on the condenser, as discussed above, can cause severe damage to your air conditioner.

Finally, most homeowners lack the proper tools and testing equipment to diagnose and fix air conditioners. We recommend calling a professional to
work on your air conditioner motors to avoid getting hurt or making costly DIY mistakes.

Experienced and Trusted Air Conditioning Repair in Grand Rapids

At Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling in Grand Rapids, Three Rivers, and Portage, we have been providing air conditioning services in our local community for over 60 years. We are a one-stop shop for all your heating and air conditioning needs, including installations, repairs, and maintenance. We also install, repair, and maintain geothermal systems. In addition, we offer 24/7 emergency repair service.

Contact Bel-Aire Heating & Cooling today for any of your air conditioning repair needs. We will safely and diligently solve the problem to get your home back to normal right away.

company icon