What to Do If Your AC Compressor is Not Working and Your Fan Is Still Running

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AC units are a major part of the summer heat. This is because they keep your room or house cool by taking away the humidity and absorbing moisture from the air. However, if your AC compressor has stopped working it can quickly become unbearable to be in your home without it.

AC compressor: What does it do?

An AC compressor keeps the air in your home or room cool by removing humidity and moisture from it. When it stops working, the hot humid air will remain stagnant causing a build-up of heat which can be very uncomfortable for you to live with.


If your AC compressor is not working, then the first thing you should do it check and see if there are any obvious signs of a problem. Some things to look for include:

Broken Thermostat

The first thing you should do is check the thermostat and see if it’s set to “cool”. If not, then there may be an issue with your thermostat. To find out for sure, turn off all of the power in your home including lights and appliances that are plugged into outlets before checking. If this does not work, you may need to replace your thermostat.

Failing Condenser Coil

A failing condenser coil is a common reason for an AC compressor not to be working. If you find that your ambient temperature is higher than the thermostat setting, then there may be a problem with your condenser coils which need replacing. If this does not work, you may need to replace your condenser coils. To do this you’ll have to
turn off all power in your home, including lights and appliances that are plugged into outlets.

Power Connection

A power connection could be a reason for an AC compressor not to be working. If there is no electrical power going to the air conditioning unit, then it may have just been turned off at the circuit breaker box or by another electrician on your property. If this does not work, you will need to contact a qualified electrician in order to get your electrical power restored.

Capacitor Problems


If your AC compressor is not working, but the fan is still running, this could be because of a capacitor problem. Compressors need electricity in order to work and if there are any problems with the capacitors on your unit then you will have to replace them.

To try to figure out what’s going wrong, first find an electrical outlet near the air conditioner and plug in a lamp. If it turns on then there’s an issue with your AC compressor not working but fan running. We recommend you contact a qualified electrician to come out and diagnose what is wrong with your system before making any repairs yourself.

Irreparable Compressor Damage

Sometimes the compressor can be irreparable. This means that the damage done to it is so bad or extensive, that no amount of repairs could fix the problem and you will have to replace your unit completely. The most common cause for this kind of issue would be if a tree branch broke off and fell on top of your AC system during a storm, causing heavy damage.


If you suspect there’s an issue with your compressor, give us a call, or visit us online to schedule your service appointment!

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