Rheem Air Conditioner Fan Not Working – What To Do?

There's nothing more inconvenient than being in the middle of a humid summer month and discovering that your air conditioner fan is not working. Usually, you can find that your motor is running, but the fan isn't spinning. There are a number of potential reasons why this happens--a dead capacitor, power issues, exhausted fan motor, or a blocked air filter--and we will be aiding you with possible solutions that we've found for each.

When your Rheem AC fan stops working, here are the things you can try to troubleshoot before calling a professional:

  • Manually spin the fan blades. If it does not turn smoothly, it means you have a burned-out fan motor, and it needs replacing. 
  • Check the relay board if it needs replacing.
  • Diagnose the main control board. Replace if necessary.
  • Test your thermostat by using a multimeter. If it is defective, it might have been affecting your AC fan.
  • If the unit is running and the compressor is humming, Turn the blades using a stick to see if the fans spin. If it works, the capacitor is the problem. Replace your capacitor.
  • Press a button on the selector switch. If the fan runs but in an irregular manner, the switch may need to be replaced.

Your Rheem air conditioner may encounter various factors that caused its fan to stop working. All parts of the unit should be working smoothly to ensure that your compressors are running and your fan is spinning, so even minor problems on the motor will need an inspection. Keep reading to learn ways to recalibrate your Rheem AC or at least get an idea about what to expect from your repairman if you choose a professional instead.

Woman is checking to see if the fan of the air conditioner is working, Rheem Air Conditioner Fan Not Working - What To Do?

Common Issues and Fixes for Rheem Air Conditioner Fans

Here are some of the common issues that your Rheem air conditioner might have encountered which resulted in your fan not working.

Woman turning on air conditioner

Non-functioning Compressor and Fan

Your compressor is the most critical part of your AC unit. If it is not receiving electricity, the entire unit will fail to work. The problem could lie in the circuit breaker or the contactor, which regulates how much power the compressor receives.

You can check the circuit breaker if it is switched on. If it is switched off, turn it on and power up the AC. If nothing happens, it is best to immediately seek an HVAC professional since it looks like a contactor problem--which should never be handled by a novice.

The Capacitor is Out of Power

Checking air compressor capacitor

The capacitor is responsible for sending a big jolt of energy to kickstart the fan. If you hear the hum of the compressor while the fan is failing to spin, the capacitor may be to blame.

The quickest fix is to spin it manually using a stick for a good push. If it works, call your technician to have the capacitor replaced.

Clogged Air Filter

If your fan spins slowly until it skids to a stop, your air filter might be the culprit. When it is blocked by debris, your fan might have been working too hard, which caused it to strain. This is why regularly checking your air filter is important to keep your fans running.

Control Board Problem

The control board is in charge of providing voltage to your unit's components, including the fan motor. If the control board has an issue, your fan motor will stop working. Contact an HVAC professional to ensure that your unit is properly diagnosed.

Faulty Thermostat

If you have a faulty thermostat, chances are it will stop the fans from working because it read the temperature wrong. In some cases, it might lose its connection with the unit altogether, which results in your fans not working.

If you have confirmed that there is nothing wrong with your AC, it may be time to replace your thermostat.

Defective Dual Shaft Fan Motor

Your Rheem AC unit has a dual shaft fan motor that circulates air effectively. One side draws in air and leads it over the condensing coil, while the other side draws the air through the evaporator coil. Over time, these blades might start straining or loosening--which means you will need to replace them.

What to do if your AC fan spins slowly and loudly

If you hear a screeching or grinding sound while your fan spins slowly, there may be large debris blocking it. To solve this, you will need to turn off your thermostat and the unit. Check the fan, clear everything out, and manually spin with a stick.

Turn everything on again and listen for any noise. If you still hear it or if your fan is still spinning slowly, call an HVAC technician.

What to do if the AC fan stops and starts randomly

If you notice your fan randomly starting and stopping, the problem is most likely the wiring within the control board. In this situation, it is best to contact an HVAC repair technician for safety precautions and to correctly solve the problem.

Should you set your thermostat's fan setting to "auto" or "on?"

Woman switching on air conditioner lying in bed at home

Your fan setting depends on your preferences. If you only want the fan to run when the temperature set on your thermostat requires it, selecting "auto" is your best option. However, if you want the fan to continuously circulate the air around the house, you can select "on."

How to Clean A Rheem Air Conditioner

If your Rheem AC fan stops working, the dirt clogging your air filter, fan radiator, or drainage system could be the problem. Here are effective cleaning methods you can do to restore your Rheem unit.

Cleaning the Internal Unit

  • Remove the mesh filters and wash them with soap and warm water. Have them soaked in an antibacterial solution.
  • Air-dry the filters. Do not use any artificial heating method as this could damage the filter.
  • Look for a component that resembles small plates that sit closely to each other. This is the heat exchanger, and you need to remove the dust coating it by using a brush or vacuum cleaner.
  • Spray the fan with a soap solution and brush the blades. Wipe excess water using a fiber cloth and let dry.
  • Clean the gunk that has formed on your ducts using a steam generator or with a cleaning solution filled with either a vinegar solution or bleach solution. 

Learn about the telltale signs when it's time to clean your air ducts in this article, "How To Tell If Air Ducts Need Cleaning—10 Signs To Look For."

Cleaning the External Unit

Cleaning the external unit of your Rheem AC requires the expertise of a trained HVAC professional. It is not advisable to do it yourself, although you may clean the surface if you can reach it.

  • Cut down the shrubs that are close to reaching your unit since this could disrupt airflow.
  • Remove dried leaves and other trimmings from the surface of your unit.

When professionals visit your unit, they will be removing your access panel to inspect the coils and other components. They will also be removing the dirt and gunk that may have accumulated during the previous months, ensuring that your unit is at peak condition to weather the coming seasons.

Additional Cleaning tips

Four air conditioning units outside of an upscale apartment complex

  • Always ensure your safety by turning the power off and unplugging your unit every time you clean it. Do not switch it on until every corner is completely dried up. Remember that water and electricity are a dangerous combination!
  • Clean your coils with a garden hose. Avoid using a pressure washer as this can damage your system.
  • Trim the surrounding greenery that might obstruct the air around your unit.
  • Immediately inspect your ductwork if you notice any temperature changes. Seal any gaps that might have formed.
  • Change your filter.
  • Book an annual tune-up with a trusted HVAC technician.

Learn more about maintaining your AC unit in this article, "How to Clean Air Conditioner Coils."

Why is it important to consult an HVAC Professional?

Japanese man dressed for work crews to clean the air conditioner

After your own initial inspection, consulting an experienced HVAC technician is your best next move. Do not attempt to fix the inner wiring yourself, as this can cause an accident. It is also recommended to have your unit checked once or twice a year to ensure that your Rheem AC remains energy efficient and that it is performing at peak condition.


If you notice your fan is not working, doing initial recalibrations yourself is a wise move since you save on time and money if you manage to fix it yourself. If the issue requires the help of a professional, you can save on the time it takes to do initial tune-ups and get on to the major fixes. Regularly taking care of your unit is key to avoiding inconveniences, especially during the hot seasons.

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