Why Is My Heat Pump Fan Not Spinning Properly?

As the summer heat intensifies or the winter frost sets in, your heat pump becomes an indispensable ally in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.

However, if you’ve noticed that your heat pump fan is not spinning properly, you might find yourself in a predicament.

A properly functioning fan is crucial for efficiently operating your heat pump, as it circulates air and helps regulate the temperature in your home.

In this blog post, we will address the perplexing issue of a heat pump fan not spinning properly and explore the potential causes behind this problem.

From minor malfunctions to more significant system failures, various factors can disrupt the smooth operation of your heat pump fan.

By understanding these issues and how to troubleshoot them, you’ll be on your way to restoring your heat pump’s functionality and ensuring optimal performance.

When Should The Fan Run On My Heat Pump?

When Should The Fan Run On My Heat Pump

An air handler is mounted inside the heat pump, whereas an outdoor unit is mounted outside. Whenever your air handling unit is not running or when it is off, you should notice that your Heat Pump Fan Is Not Spinning.

In conjunction with each other, these two units operate. It is essential that your fan spins when you want air in the house and not when the house temperature is the same as your thermostat setting.

The heat pump draws hot air from the outside and cools it before circulating it inside your home. Reversing the process, a cool liquid refrigerant absorbs heat energy from the outside unit and turns it into gas.

When pressure is applied to the cold gas, it is transformed into a hot gas. Through air passing through the indoor unit, the hot gas is cooled.

Is Your Heat Pump Getting Old?

Is Your Heat Pump Getting Old

This is probably because your heat pump isn’t working at the moment, so you want a fast fix.

However, once it runs again, you have two choices: wait for another breakdown or schedule a heat pump replacement before another occurs. It’s impossible to provide one answer to cover all situations. Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions.

Repair: A heat pump repair is advisable if it’s under warranty (or under 12 years old) and hasn’t had significant repair problems.

Replacement: If the heat pump is 12 years old or has already been subjected to a couple of large repair bills, it may be time to replace it during the next off-season.

It’s a good idea to replace your heat pump in the late spring or early fall – times when they are not in use as much.

Several factors play into the sale or purchase of your house, such as the condition of the heat pump and your budget.

An HVAC professional should evaluate the condition of your heat pump, and you should discuss whether or not to repair or replace it.

Why Is My Heat Pump Fan Not Spinning?

Why Is My Heat Pump Fan Not Spinning

If your heat pump is on, but the fan isn’t spinning, there might be a few reasons why. A clogged system can be caused by outside debris. You should always leave a clear area around your heat pump.

When something lodges in your heat pump fan, you may want to turn off the power and then try to remove it with a tool or a stick. You should never put your fingers in a fan.

By pushing the blades, sometimes you can start your fan. The motor in your fan may need to be replaced soon if that works.

It is essential to replace your fan immediately if it cannot move with a push. You should never run a heat pump without a working fan. This could result in the compressor being damaged.

If the compressor fails, the entire system must be replaced or repaired at a considerable cost. Heat pump fans fail for the most common reasons, which are solved in this section.

No Heat Pump or Fan

No Heat Pump or Fan

If your heat pump doesn’t come on, check a few things.

Thermostat: Does your thermostat have the correct mode set for winter and summer warmth?

Breakers: Are the heat pump and air handler circuits on? Otherwise, turn them on. When they’re somewhere between those two points, it means they’ve been tripped. Switch off and on the tripped breaker. Make use of the heat pump. When it works but trips again in the near future, there may be an electrical issue that needs to be addressed.

The most common problems that don’t solve your issue are:

Best-case scenario: The compressor contactor is damaged. The video shows you how to check your tester if you have one. A professional can usually perform this repair for less than $300.

Worst-case scenario: An inoperable compressor. A new heat pump would probably be a better investment for you since this repair costs around $1,250.

The Compressor is Running; the Fan is Slow

The Compressor is Running; the Fan is Slow

Most of the time, this is just another version of the story above. In this case, either the motor or capacitor are going bad – they are still working, but they are on their way out.

If the problem persists, it is time to remove the capacitor and contact an HVAC technician to determine the cause.

Is your fan multispeed or two-speed? Operating two-stage and variable-capacity heat pumps with fans running at different speeds is possible.

The fan may be running at the perfect speed, even if you think it is slower than it should be.

  • Two-stage speeds are 60% and 100%, respectively.
  • Adaptable fans can operate at 40%, 80%, or 100% efficiency.

If your fan struggles to make a breeze, you may need to replace it. Unless you’ve had other fans with dual or variable speeds, it could be humming relatively fast but not as fast as others. In case of doubt, contact a technician who specializes in HVAC systems.

The Heat Pump Is Running, And The Fan Isn’t

The Heat Pump Is Running, And The Fan Isn't

There is a possibility that the compressor could be running, but the fan would not be. The cause could be either a burned-out capacitor or a bad fan motor. To begin with, check for debris!

A stick from a tree above, or a nest of birds or a critter, may be blocking the fan blade from spinning. This happens to everyone.

It is first necessary to turn off the power to the unit. The fan mustn’t start spinning immediately after the obstacle is removed. Ensure the power is off when removing the top of the heat pump cabinet and dislodging the object.

The issue might be solved that way. Furthermore, it is possible that the motor burned out since it tried to run but could not do so.

Problem 1: Sticky Fan Motor

The fan might not be working if the capacitor is fine. Possibly, there is a possibility of reviving the fan soon.

One of the fan blades can be pushed with a stick, like a paint stirrer. When it starts and runs, you can tell when a fan motor is in the early stages of failure. Using a stick is best. The fan motor can start up rapidly and do some damage. Stir sticks are better than you if you ask me.

If you aren’t sure how to fix your heat pump fan not spinning, you should call a heating and air conditioning technician.

Motor Replacement is Needed

Spinning a stuck motor won’t fix the problem. A replacement is needed because it is going bad. Typical repair costs are $250-$475 for this issue.

Problem 2: Dead Fan

Either the motor or capacitor is going bad if the fan won’t spin and stay spinning even after a little push.

Caution: If you are not using a fan, don’t use a heat pump or air conditioner. In addition to cooling the compressor, the fan also serves other purposes.

Your repair bill will go up by $1,250 to $2,000 if you don’t have the heat pump fan operating – and the compressor can overheat and fail.

It might be possible for your heat pump to be declared “totaled” if that happens.

Motor or Compressor Capacitor Replacement is Needed

The cost of replacing a capacitor is $150-$275. There’s no way that’s more expensive than a fan motor. It’s good to know that capacitors fail more frequently than motors.

Using a capacitor tester and knowing how to work around electricity, you can check the capacitor yourself.

Should My Heat Pump’s Outdoor Unit Run During Cold Weather?

Heat pump fans that run in cold weather may seem odd to people who have only lived in houses cooled by air conditioners. This is normal, and the fan on your heat pump should be spinning. 

You may have a problem with your air handler or a malfunction in your blower, but it is common for fans to run constantly during the winter.

It’s ideal for warmer climates that don’t experience freezing temperatures in the winter to have a heat pump installed. As a result, an air-source heat pump is less efficient than a regular furnace because it has to work harder to bring in more air.

Because of this, many heat pump owners have a backup heating system during the winter. In addition to defrosting your heat pump, the fan also does the job of cleaning it. 

It is possible that you would hear your heat pump and your air handler running, but your heat pump fan isn’t spinning even in cold weather.

Final Words

Heat pumps replace traditional heating and cooling systems. With a heat pump, you can combine the functions of an air conditioner and furnace.

You may notice that your heat pump’s fan isn’t spinning when you watch it. This might indicate underlying problems.

You should not run your heat pump without a working fan since this can damage the compressor. A damaged compressor can cause a costly repair bill or must be replaced entirely.

A heat pump expert can provide you with more information and maintenance or repair services for your heat pump.

The HVAC technicians at our company can get your HVAC system back up and running in no time, no matter the issue.

Leave a Comment