Home Improvements

Why Does My AC Compressor Turns Off But The Fan Keeps Running?

Your air conditioner is one of the most important electric appliances in your house. It guards you against extreme temperatures and keeps you comfortable. However, these machines can sometimes run into some problems that require inspection and the help of air conditioner repair services. In some cases, the compressor will turn off but the fan won’t. Instead of panicking, here are a few things you need to consider.

The Fan Is Switched To “On” Position

If you observe that, your air conditioner’s compressor turns off but the fan doesn’t, you should check the switch. It should be switched to “Auto” instead of “ON’. If it is switched to the “ON” position, it will continuously run. As a result, once the air conditioner has achieved its desired temperature, the fan will turn off automatically.

Keep in mind that a continuously running fan can cause problems as well. Although, air conditioner fans are tough components but come with a limited lifespan. This means they will work smoothly as long as they are looked after.

However, this does not mean the fans are designed to run continuously for days. If that is the case, you will need to fix the issue immediately before a replacement is needed.

The AC Is Too Small

Buying the wrong size air conditioner is a common mistake made by homeowners. They purchase a small unit assuming the energy costs will be less. However, this is not the case. An air conditioner that is smaller than the area it is supposed to cool down will only struggle.

As a result, the compressor and the fan will run continuously to achieve the desired temperature. In the case of newer inverter versions, the compressor and the fans do not turn off. Instead, the unit lowers its RPMs once the desired temperature is achieved.

This reduces the utilization of electricity resulting in lower energy costs. So, a smaller air conditioner will run continuously and eventually overheat. This could cause significant damage and costly repairs. The best way to prevent such a situation is to pick a unit based on the size of the area where it will be installed.

Faulty Thermostat

A faulty thermostat is yet another common problem, especially among older HVAC units. If you have installed an aftermarket thermostat, there is a huge chance it will need to be replaced. The thermostat directly communicates with the control board of the air conditioner and signals it to increase or decrease the temperature.

That said, if the thermostat happens to be faulty, you couldn’t expect it to send proper signals to the control board. As a result, the air conditioner will act strange such as the fan running even though the compressor is off.

In such a case, you should try replacing the batteries of the thermostat. If that does not solve the issue, you should call in an expert to calibrate it. If nothing works out, you will simply need a replacement.

Short Circuit Or Broken Relay Switch

If your air conditioner’s compressor is not running but the fan is, it means there is a short circuit or some other electrical problem. It could also be that the relay switch is broken. This will prevent the thermostat from communicating with the fan.

Unfortunately, you cannot repair such issues. All you can do is replace the components. But make sure that you hire a professional for the task. Such components can carry a charge and you can end up being electrocuted.

Reasons Your AC Compressor Might Not Be Working

If your air conditioner compressor stops midway, while the fan is running, it could also mean there is a problem waiting to be addressed. Here are a few things you should know.

Low Refrigerant

If your air conditioner suddenly begins to trip or the compressor simply fails to turn on, it means you should check the refrigerant level. Every air conditioner works with a certain level of refrigerant, in the absence of which the unit will simply fail to perform.

Compressors are heavily dependent on refrigerants and will struggle if the level is low. Eventually, the compressor will overheat and need a replacement. However, this does not happen without any reason. Refrigerant leaks are common in older units due to cracks, damage, etc.

However, in the case of newer units, it could be due to poor installation or maintenance. In such cases, the compressor will turn off, while the fans keep running. This is because the compressor won’t be able to keep its pace no matter how hard it tries as there is no refrigerant. The same is true for the malfunctioning of refrigerators as well so if your commercial refrigerator is not cooling or not working, have commercial refrigerator services check the refrigerant levels.

Dirty Coils & Filters

Dirty coils & Filters are a major reason contributing to compressors failing. If the coils and filters are neglected, layers of dirt and dust accumulation will prevent the dissipation of heat. At the same time, clogged air filters will suffocate the air conditioner.

In both cases, the components of the air conditioner will work harder than usual to make up for the loss. As a result, they will overheat and will gradually wear down. This is why it is important to inspect and maintain the coils and filters.

On top of that, it is recommended to schedule professional maintenance of your air conditioner at least once a year.

Power Connection Issue

Another reason your air conditioner might not be working is if there is a power connection issue. Sometimes, the connection between the indoor and outdoor units is faulty. As a result, your compress will turn off while the fans will keep working.

In this case, you will need to check the circuit breaker. Power outages and surges can trip the circuit breaker and cause the air conditioner to show unusual activity. In addition to that, check for blown fuses as well.

If there seems to be a problem, proceed with caution. It would be better if you consult a technician rather than fix the issues yourself.

AC System Is Getting Old

Finally, if your air conditioner is regularly breaking down, it means it has exceeded its lifespan and is simply getting old. This means the components are gone and the unit will need a replacement. At this point, spending on repairs and replacements won’t be worth it.

Instead, you should invest in a new air conditioner. Even if you have provided proper maintenance to the unit all these years, it will still need a replacement after 10 to 15 years.

AC Maintenance Solves Most Problems

The majority of homeowners are not aware of the fact that maintenance is key to preventing both minor and major air conditioner problems. Maintenance is not only about cleaning the components but also inspecting the damages, cracks, leakages, etc.

This allows you to fix the issue before it turns serious. That said, you do not have to worry about the unit giving up during extreme weather conditions. Furthermore, your air conditioner will continue running without any problems for years to come.


Fixing problems such as the compressor turning off and the fans don’t will require a bit of time and effort. However, keeping the tips mentioned above in mind, you will at least have an idea of the root cause of the problem. And if you find the issue far more complicated, let HVAC repair services handle the issue. topac

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