Having a part of your air conditioner break is never a fun experience, especially if it’s hot outside. Worrying about costs and the extent of the damages can be extremely stressful. If your home’s AC has a broken condenser fan motor, you are likely wondering how much it will cost you to replace it.
Replacing an air conditioner condenser fan motor will likely cost you between $75 to $625, depending on the brand of air conditioner you have, whether you replace it yourself or have it professionally done, and where you live. On average, you should expect to pay around $400 dollars to replace your AC unit’s condenser fan motor professionally or around $100 if you replace it yourself.
As you can see, replacing a condenser fan motor is less expensive than you may have thought. However, it is important that you make this replacement as soon as possible. Read on to learn more about how much this replacement will cost, how to know you need to make it, and how to do so.
What is a Condenser Fan and Condenser Fan Motor?
A condenser fan is the part of the air conditioning unit that is outside of your home, usually in a large, metal box. It cools the refrigerant, or cooling substance, from a gas to a liquid. This cools the air conditioner while it is running, preventing it from overheating and allowing it to continue cooling your home – The fan turning is what causes cold air to be blown throughout the house.
The condenser fan motor works to keep the condenser from overheating by transferring heat from the system to the surrounding outdoor atmosphere. It powers and allows the condenser fan to work properly, and is a vital part of the HVAC system. It is essential that it is functional.
What Would Cause Your Condenser Fan’s Motor to Break?
There are a multitude of reasons that may cause your condenser fan’s motor to break. Some of these are:
- Your motor is not properly maintained
- The fan blades or the motor itself is the incorrect size for the air conditioning unit
- A reduced air flow in the unit
- The condenser unit has overheated
- A mechanical issue or failure has occurred:
- Failed run capacitor
- Not enough lubricant in the motor
- A bearing has failed in the belt drive
- The voltage is either too high or too low
- Water has gotten inside the windings
Knowing what exactly caused the failure of your motor is important, as you can work to make changes, like purchasing and installing correctly sized parts. Prevent it from happening in the future by keeping up with certain maintenance procedures. If you have the motor professionally replaced, they will likely be able to tell you exactly what the issue was if you were not able to see for yourself.
Signs That it is Breaking or Broken
Being able to tell the exact issue with your air conditioner is essential to being able to fix it quickly and efficiently. If there is something wrong with your condenser fan motor, you will likely notice that:
- The AC’s fan does not turn, or turns very slowly
- The outside fan blades either won’t start turning when you turn it on or won’t stop turning when you turn it off
- The air conditioner runs intermittently and randomly, despite it being turned on
- You hear odd noises, such as rattling, buzzing, or humming.
- There is no cold air coming from the unit
- You smell a burning odor
- The condenser unit constantly feels very hot to the touch
If you notice any of these things, it is extremely likely that your condenser fan motor is broken. You should start looking into replacing it so that your air conditioner can run properly again.
Why Should You Replace Your Broken Condenser Fan Motor?
You should replace your broken condenser fan as soon as possible. In fact, if you are able to replace it before it fully breaks, you should. It is recommended not to run your air conditioner if the condenser fan motor is broken.
A broken condenser motor can:
- Cause more damage to the air conditioner if the unit is turned on.
- Result in larger, more time consuming, and more costly repairs.
- Cause the air conditioner to not produce any cold air, rendering the AC unit dysfunctional
Because of these things, it is important to replace the condenser fan motor as soon as you realize it is broken.
Can You Run Your Air Conditioner With a Broken Condenser Fan Motor?
You should not run your air conditioner with a broken condenser fan motor. Though you can still technically turn the unit on, it will likely not do anything productive, but will likely damage the unit further, resulting in more costly repairs.
So, while it is possible to run the unit with a broken condenser fan motor, it will do more harm than good.
How Much Does Replacing Your Air Conditioner’s Condenser Fan Motor Cost?
Replacing your air conditioner’s condenser fan motor may cost you anywhere between $60 and $625, depending on whether you replace the motor or have it professionally replaced, how old the unit is, what brand the unit is, and where you live.
If you replace the condenser fan motor yourself, you can expect the replacement to cost you around $100. If you have it professionally replaced, you should expect to pay around $400.
What Factors Will Determine the Cost of Replacement?
The most influential factors in the cost of your AC condenser fan motor replacement are:
- If you replace the motor yourself or have it professionally done.
- Replacing the motor yourself means that you will just be paying for the parts (the motor) and any tools you may need, where a professional replacement includes labor costs. However, if you do not have proper HVAC training, you may cause more damage to your unit, so it is important that you understand what you are doing if you choose to make this replacement yourself.
- If your AC needs any additional repairs
- How old the unit is – An older unit will likely have greater replacement costs.
- What brand the unit is – Higher end brands will likely have greater replacement costs.
- Where you live – Certain states have lower repair costs. It’s advisable to look up the average rate where you live.
Considering these factors, it should be easier to get a better idea of how much you will be paying for a replacement condenser fan motor within the average range.
Understanding the cost breakdown of a replacement is important. You should expect to pay between $50 and $150 to cover the cost of parts, and between $250 to $450 to cover the cost of labor.
DIY Steps to Replacing Your Condenser Fan Motor
Because replacing the condenser fan motor yourself will make this a much less costly expenditure, you might be interested in understanding how to do so. Read below to learn the steps.
- Find a proper replacement motor: Ensure that it is the correct size and voltage
- Turn the AC unit off
- Open up the condenser unit
- Disconnect all of the wires. Keep a note of which colored wire is connected where. This will help connecting the new motor go smoothly!
- Remove the motor and fan
- Remove the fan blades from the motor
- Insert and connect the new motor by completing steps 2-4 in reverse order
- Replace the run capacitor – This should be done anytime a motor is replaced
- Close the condenser unit
How Long Will it Take to Replace?
If you are replacing the condenser fan motor yourself, you can expect it to take you between 4 and 6 hours, depending on your experience level. If you are having the part professionally replaced, you should expect the job to take less than a day.
Maintenance for Condenser Fan Motors
After needing to go through the replacement process once, you probably don’t want to go through it again. Here’s how to maintain your condenser fan motor to avoid needing any other repairs or replacements:
- Make sure there is no vegetation near to it. If there are lots of weeds surrounding the unit, it will be hard for it to properly expel the exhaust air, and there is a chance that weeds and plants could get stuck in the blades, damaging them
- Clean the coils on a yearly basis. Dirty coils can cause the motor to break
- Make sure all of the parts of the AC unit are the correct size and brand
- Ensure that there is enough lubricant and refrigerant in the motor
- Have an HVAC professional check the motor on an annual basis. This is usually a good thing to do before you turn the AC on for the first time during the hot season.
If you do these things, your AC’s condenser fan motor will likely last for at least 12 years!
Depending on the brand of air conditioner you have, whether you replace it yourself or have it professionally done, and where you live, replacing an air conditioner condenser fan motor will likely cost you between $75 to $625. You should expect around $400 dollars to replace your AC unit’s condenser fan motor professionally or around $100 if you replace it yourself.