Certain AC components are meant to last all throughout an air conditioner’s lifespan. Others are subjected to ongoing wear that causes them to break down long before cooling systems need to be replaced. This is especially true of fast and constantly moving components like AC motors. Thus, having an AC motor fail in your Oak Hills, California home isn’t a big deal. With seasoned technicians on the job, you can have your air conditioner back up and running within a reasonable amount of time and at a reasonable cost. Following are five important things to know about AC motor replacement.
1. Your Air Conditioner Likely Has Three Separate Motors
There are actually five motor types that are found in modern residential HVAC systems. These include:
- ECM motors
- Condenser fan motors
- Combustion fan motors
- Compressor motors
- Blower motors
Licensed HVAC technicians are trained to work on all of these motor types. When AC motor problems arise, they can quickly determine which motor is struggling or has failed, and they can also pinpoint the most likely reasons why.
Modern air conditioners usually have three types of motors. For instance, your AC system probably has a blower motor, a condenser fan motor, and a compressor motor. Each of these motors is an integral part of the cooling process, but each one has its own unique function. When one motor in an AC system fails, every other component is subjected to extra stress.
2. The Sooner You Turn Your Air Conditioner Off, the Better
The common signs of AC motor failure aren’t always easy to spot. For example, when condenser fan motors start going out, homeowners often see a significant and progressive rise in their home cooling costs. Their air conditioners might continue blowing air out, but the temperature of this air is noticeably warmer. It’s only when condenser fan problems spiral out of control that they’re impossible to ignore. Just before a condenser fan outright fails, it will often make loud screeching and whirring sounds whenever the air conditioner is on.
As soon as you suspect AC motor problems, it’s always best to shut your cooling system off. If the condenser fan motor is broken, continuing to run your cooling equipment can result in overheating at the compressor. The condenser fan motor moves heat away from the compressor and keeps this important and costly component protected. Without it, the AC compressor will burn out.
3. Diagnosing Compressor Motor Problems Is No Easy Feat
Compressor motors are different from blower motors and condenser fan motors in that they’re actually two separate motors stored in a single housing. These are the compressor run motor and the compressor start motor. Due in part to their twofold design, when problems occur at the compressor motor, they tend to be difficult to diagnose.
Given the outdoor location of the AC compressor, the housing around its motor is completely sealed to keep dirt, dust, pollen, and other outside debris from getting in. The compressor also has an emergency shut-off switch. This switch turns the compressor and its motor completely off whenever internal temperatures grow too hot. In some instances, it’s necessary for HVAC technicians to both find and resolve the underlying cause of overheating before compressor motor issues can even be diagnosed. Until all underlying causes of overheating are resolved, the emergency shut-off switch will not disengage, and most diagnostic tests won’t work. This is but one of countless reasons always to leave AC motor replacements and repairs in the hands of seasoned professionals.
4. Trying to Tackle This Task on Your Own Will Void Your Warranty
There are a lot of detailed “how to” videos on AC motor replacement. However, using these videos to replace an air conditioner motor on your own can be far more costly than you initially imagined. Although there are many maintenance, troubleshooting, and minor repair tasks that homeowners can certainly handle on their own, anything involving AC motors must be handled by licensed professionals only. Removing the housing and tampering with any of your air conditioner’s moving components will automatically void the manufacturer’s warranty. It will also void any AC protections that are provided by your home insurance plan or your home warranty.
5. All AC Motor Repairs Should Be Performed to Manufacturer Specifications
Every air conditioner model has its own unique nuances and needs. During AC motor replacement services, licensed HVAC technicians adhere to the instructions of product manufacturers. All replacement parts are chosen according to the manufacturer’s specifications, and all post-installation testing is done in accordance with these specifications as well. Having a licensed service provider take care of this important project is the only way to get the safety and lasting value that you need and deserve.
For more than 20 years, JC Energy Solutions has been providing reliable heating and cooling services to residents of Oak Hills, California and the surrounding area. We also offer preventative maintenance agreements. If your air conditioner is underperforming or if it has stopped working altogether, we can help. Give us a call now to schedule an appointment.