Why Is My Outside AC Unit Not Running But Inside Is?

image of an AC compressor unit that is not working

Since summer is here, the weather is beginning to heat up. In most areas, it is hot enough to require the use of an air conditioner. You may have tried to switch on your air conditioner just to find that it isn’t running properly. The outside AC unit not running but inside is. This is a widespread issue that can be attributed to a number of different factors. To understand more about your options, keep reading.

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Why Does My Outside Air Conditioning Unit Not Work, While The Inside Unit Does?

Cooling systems have both interior and outdoor components that work together to accomplish the desired results. If one of these components fails, the home will not cool regardless of how long you wait. You can tell if the outside unit is on or not in one of two ways:

1. The Air Conditioner Condenser Produces No Sound

no sound coming from air conditioning unit

The first is that there is no sound. Despite the fact that certain devices are supposed to be silent, they should generate a subtle hum. If you are unable to hear anything, it is likely that the motors and compressors are not functioning as they should be. Call an HVAC contractor, like Point Bay Fuel, right away.

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2. Warm Air From The Inside Air Handler

Place your palm on the air conditioner’s interior unit. If hot air is blowing in rather than cold air, this indicates that the external unit is not operating correctly. Instead of being cooled by the system, the hot summer air simply travels past it.

Why Has The Fan on My Outdoor Air Conditioner Stopped Working?

This type of air conditioning problem is frequently caused by a fan failure. Although the blades just aren’t moving, the rest of the outside unit appears to be operational. Even if you change the air filters and conduct all of the other recommended HVAC maintenance, there is still a possibility that this will occur. The most common reasons for a stopped-up fan are as follows:

1. Insufficient Power To The Air Conditioning Unit

image of an air conditioner fan depicting a compressor fan not working

Fan motors are powered by electricity. If they do not receive an appropriate amount of power, they wouldn’t be able to spin in the correct manner. In certain situations, it may be difficult to identify the precise inhibitor that is causing the problem. In order to obtain an accurate diagnosis, it is best to get in touch with an experienced HVAC technician.

2. Air Conditioner Contactor-Related Issues

The air conditioner fan motor’s control is handled by the contactor. This cooling system component’s failure will cause the blades to cease rotating. You should not try to remedy this on your own since you may end up making matters worse. If you’re looking for a proper solution, consult a professional HVAC contractor.

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3. An Air Conditioner Fan Motor That Has Burnt Out

Overworking cooling system motors might cause them to burn out. They also wear out over time, with systems that are not maintained properly experiencing this wear and tear earlier. HVAC tune-ups, such as air conditioner maintenance, should be performed on a regular basis since they are essential for spotting issues in their earliest stages and preventing costly air conditioner repairs down the road.

4. Faulty Air Conditioner Capacitors

multimeter and run capacitors of an outdoor air conditioning unit

Outer AC unit fans can also fail as a result of air conditioner capacitor issues. These components are responsible for storing energy so that the blades can continue to rotate. They act similarly to batteries in that with repeated usage, they gradually lose their capacity to store energy. They might also be harmed by high temperatures and electrical surges. The fan will not be able to run if a capacitor fails.

To determine whether or not this is the cause of the issue, you may test the fan grate by passing a long wooden stick through it. Make use of this to give the blades a light push in order to spin them. If you notice that these blades begin to rotate, then you are most likely dealing with a faulty capacitor. Even if you restart the process, the fan won’t operate after a certain amount of time. Due to the high voltage and delicate nature of the electrical components involved, the replacement must be left to the experts.

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5. Dirt on the Air Conditioner Axle

It is expected that the force you apply to the stick from the outside will be sufficient to set the blades in motion. If you are experiencing difficulties with this, you should examine the fan axle for any debris. There’s a chance that dirt got into the bearings of the engine. To ensure that there are no obstructions to the movement of the components, you should have a professional remove and clean them. Better yet, call an HVAC contractor to perform a thorough cleaning of your air conditioning unit.

What Should You Do If the Entire Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit Is Not Working?

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In rare instances, the air conditioner fans are not the only components that have entirely lost their operational state. The entire outside device does not function at all. Homeowners often find themselves in over their heads with this problem, which often necessitates the assistance of a professional. Because a broken air conditioner in the middle of summer is an inconvenience that no one likes to deal with, you should take prompt action to have it fixed. Let’s investigate all of the reasons that this unexpected failure in the air conditioning system may have occurred.

1. Adjustments To The Thermostat

image of hand adjusting thermostat due to air conditioner outside unit not working

Before delving into the worst-case situations, it is important to double check the fundamentals and ensure sure that the system is configured appropriately. Start by adjusting the temperature on the thermostat. It’s possible that the wrong buttons were pushed by someone, which led to the temperature being set excessively high. Try lowering the temperature setting and see if it helps. You may realize that the thermostat is not even powered. Simply changing the batteries will get it back up and running.

2. A Filthy Outdoor AC Compressor Unit

If the outside AC unit gets too dirty, it might cause the compressor to overheat. It’s possible that a heavy layer of dust is what’s stopping the heat from escaping outdoors. Ultimately, the system will shut down if it is no longer able to cope with the current conditions. Conduct a thorough inspection of the unit to determine whether or not dirt and debris have accumulated to an unacceptable level. Before cleaning, unplug the unit from the power source. Even better, get a professional HVAC contractor to take care of it for you.

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3. Air Conditioner Safety Switch Lock

When they detect a potential threat, cooling systems are equipped with safety switches that lock the exterior unit. They may be made operational once more by performing a reset. You may accomplish this by switching off the system using either the thermostat or the circuit breaker. Turn it back on after you’ve waited for about a minute, and check to see whether it’s functioning normally. If not, further troubleshooting will require the assistance of a specialist.

4. Circuit Breaker Has Been Tripped

image of a circuit breaker that controls air conditioning system

In the event that there was a thunderstorm recently, the power surges that occurred may have caused your circuit breakers to overload. Your circuit panel can reveal if any of the breakers have been tripped. Before you try to switch them on, be sure they are off. In older homes, you can find that the fuses in the fuse box have blown. Those fuses need to be replaced. If your air conditioner’s shut-off box has a fuse, have a professional replace it. Even when steps are made to normalize the issue, the breakers may trip frequently at times. This indicates that there is a more significant issue with the electrical system, which can only be fixed by a qualified electrician.

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5. Air Conditioner Compressor Failure

The most critical part of any air conditioner is the compressor. It pumps the refrigerant through the system at the correct pressure. In the event that it fails, the air conditioner will lose its capacity to cool the air within the home. As soon as you switch it on, you will be able to tell whether it is failing since it will either stutter or make a loud noise. In the end, it will be impossible to get it to switch on at all. Repairing this will be quite expensive. It is possible that you may need to upgrade the entire air conditioning system.



When the inside unit appears to be functioning normally, it might be confusing to notice that the outside unit is not operating. Oftentimes, normalcy may be restored with minimal effort after a brief inspection identifies the likely culprit. Alternatively, the issue may be too complex for the average individual to address. Get in touch with a reputable HVAC company as soon as possible and explain the problem. They’ll figure out what’s causing the problem and fix it. When they are done, the air conditioner will function normally once more without any problems.

Call Point Bay Fuel For All Your HVAC Needs


Point Bay Fuel offers exceptional heating and cooling solutions in Ocean and Monmouth County, New Jersey. We employ certified technicians capable of giving you the best HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, as well as replacements. All our techs know every aspect of HVAC repair and maintenance.

Point Bay Fuel guarantees the cheapest service prices around. The comfort and energy efficiency of your house will be improved, while your heating and cooling bills are reduced with the help of our routine maintenance services. We can help you choose the best HVAC system for your home based on what you can afford. To ensure your pleasure, we back up all our services with a guarantee. Contact Point Bay Fuel now to make a service appointment. We provide estimates in the comfort of your own home.

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