Why is it that when you need your air conditioning the most, that’s when it decides to fail? Despite how it may look, your AC wasn’t waiting for the most inopportune time to fail out of spite. Most likely it’s been showing signs of struggling for a while now, and since the hottest days in Phoenix puts the most stress on the unit, that’s when problems usually come to light.
One of the most common AC repair jobs is replacing a failed AC fan motor. Whether the motor has already kicked the bucket or you just suspect a problem, here is everything you need to know about AC fan motors.
Signs You May Need a New AC Fan Motor
What’s that strange noise coming from your air conditioner? If your outdoor unit is making noises, the type of noise may help determine what’s wrong. If the problem is a failing fan motor, you may hear one of the following sounds:
- Rattling: A rattling sound could indicate that the fan motor or its components are loose or failing. Rattling, scraping, or banging could also mean that debris is caught inside, however, so a serviceman may need to examine the unit to decide what it is causing the sound.
- Screeching: A metal-on-metal sound usually means your fan motor’s bearings are failing. This is a much more pressing situation and should be addressed right away.
If you think your fan motor may be in need of lubrication, think again. Fan motors nowadays have sealed bearings and do not have oil ports, so the issue is most likely something else.
How Much Does an AC Fan Motor Cost?
Even though fan motors don’t contain oil ports nowadays and thus don’t need lubrication, they still need to be replaced from time to time. Replacing your AC unit’s fan motor isn’t as expensive as you might think. This repair can range from $450 minimum to about $650, depending on your unit. Nothing to sneeze at, but also not as bad as it could be.
The Cost of Not Replacing It
Speaking of how bad it could be, what is the likely cost of not replacing your unit’s fan motor? Because of how hot the system runs, running your AC with a failed fan motor could result in your compressor failing, too. The compressor is a much more expensive component, typically running $1,400-$3,000, so procrastinating on AC repair could be a very costly delay.