Your AC Fan Blade Broke Off? Why? What To Do?

The AC in your home helps to condition your home, keeping everyone comfortable. But, when the fan blade brakes, it can be a hazard to the AC system. What causes the blade to break, and how can you solve this problem? We researched the topic to provide the causes and the solutions.

Normal wear and tear can loosen the AC blades, causing them to bend or break. But foreign objects can enter the AC and damage the blades.

If your AC fan blades are bent or broken, you need to repair or replace them immediately to prevent further damage to the AC system.

Please keep reading to know why your AC fan blade can break off and how to repair it. We've also included ways to maintain your AC in good condition to prevent the blades from breaking and the cost of repairing the fan blades. 

What To Do When The Fan Blades Break Off

new Industrial large air conditioning fan. Air conditioner units (HVAC) on a roof of industrial building, Your AC Fan Blade Broke Off? Why? What To Do?

The components in your appliances wear out over time. So, the AC fan blades can loosen with time and begin to hit against other metal parts, causing them to bend or break. Foreign objects can also find their way inside the AC, causing damage to the blades. 

If the blades are not faulty, take action immediately to prevent further damage. Switch off the AC and call a technician to check it out and make the necessary repairs. 

In most cases, you have to replace the bent or broken blades. Since air conditioners have the same concept but differ in design, here are some general steps to accomplish the task.

1. Disconnect The Power And Remove The Screws

  1. Disconnect the unit's power supply by turning off the circuit breaker or switching it off at the socket. 
  2. Unthread the access cover by removing the screws that secure it to the unit.
  3. Cut the zip tie that ties the wires together.
  4. Unthread the screws that secure the fan guard. 

2. Remove The Fan Blade

air conditioner compressor fan outside a house

  1. Lift off the guard and the fan motor assembly and flip over the assembly, so the fan blade is on top.
  2. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the set screw and remove the fan blade.

You can find these adjustable wrenches on Amazon.

3. Install The New Blade

See this AC fan blade on Amazon.

  1. Take your new blade and position it on the motor shaft. Align the set screw with the shaft's flat side.
  2. Fasten the set screw to secure your blade.
  3. With your new blade in place, flip the guard and motor assembly back to their original position.
  4. Align the guard and insert the wire conduit through the hole.
  5. Re-thread the screws to secure the guard
  6. Secure the wires together with a zip tie.
  7. Place back the access cover, re-thread, and tighten the screws.
  8. Restore the power, and you are ready to use your AC unit. 

Check out the video below explaining in detail how to replace an AC fan blade:

What To Consider When Installing A New AC Fan Blade

air conditioner unit or fan with blades spinning

There are several factors to evaluate when installing a new blade in your AC. We shall discuss three considerations:

Choose The Right Blade

When choosing a replacement fan blade, ensure that it provides the same airflow performance as the original.

A blade that supplies the motor with less air than needed will cause your unit to overheat or break down. In contrast, if the airflow is too much, the motor will become overloaded, increasing its temperature. Consequently, the unit will fail.

 Size Of The Space Inside The AC

Check if the blades will fit inside the AC so that they will not hit against other metal parts as they turn. That way, you can purchase the right size of blades. 

Direction Of Rotation

The direction of rotation of the new blades needs to match the motor in your AC unit to allow the air to flow out of the unit as per the manufacturer's design. This lets out the heat from your AC.

How To Maintain Your AC To Prevent Fan Blades From Breaking

Proper maintenance will help you avoid changing the AC fan blades frequently. So, do the following:

Trim Trees And Uproot Plants Away From Your AC Unit

Air conditioner condenser unit standing outdoors in a garden in a neat clean mulched flowerbed for easy access for maintenance

A tree can provide shade to your air conditioner, improving its efficiency. However, the branches, twigs, or other debris that fall off the tree can enter the unit causing the fan blades to bend, crack or break. To avoid this, regularly trim the trees near your unit. 

Additionally, ensure plants are at least 2 or 3 feet away from the sides of the AC unit. That way, they will not grow into the unit, interfering with the proper functioning of the fan blades. Any hanging plants should be at least 5 feet above the AC. 

Rake leaves and twigs that have fallen nearby to prevent your AC sucking them inside the unit. If you notice debris inside the AC, call a technician, or if you are up to the task, you can clear it away. 

Watch Out For Any Strange Noises

Strange AC noises can imply a faulty fan blade. If the fan blade is out of alignment, loose, cracked, or broken, it may hit other metals inside the AC producing weird sounds. You should immediately call a technician to check out and perform the necessary repairs. 

Regular Maintenance

Maintaining your AC is a sure way of ensuring your unit runs efficiently. Moreover, it reduces your energy bills and prevents costly breakdowns since issues with the fan blade can be tackled early to avoid hefty replacement expenses. 

What Can Cause Your AC Fan Blade Not To Turn?

Industrial HVAC Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Units in Multiple Arrays

As mentioned earlier, if the blade breaks, it should be replaced immediately. This is because it can cause further damage to the appliance or lead to the fan malfunctioning altogether.

The motor is responsible for turning the AC fan blades. Since the motors are electric, they can overheat, get burned, or have issues with the electrical wiring.

As with any other component, wires wear out, causing the motor not to run. To tackle this, have a technician check the motor and repair or replace it.

Have a look at this AC motor that you can find on Amazon.

Cost Of Repairing Your AC

AC units can last between 10 and 15 years. So, ideally, you should replace it if it is 15 years old or older. Replacing your unit can cost between $1350 and $1800. 

Your technician will charge you between $100 and $150 to maintain your AC at least once a year. 

The average cost of repairs is $336 and ranges between $163 and $520. But, some repairs can cost almost as much as replacing the AC unit. For example, replacing an evaporator coil will cost between $650 and $1200.

If the cost of repairs is too high, should you buy another unit or go ahead with the repairs?

It's a tricky question that a qualified technician can help you answer. They usually apply the $5,000 rule. Multiply the age of your air conditioner by the cost of repair. If it is more than $5,000, purchase a new one. But, if it is below $5,000, repair it.

In Closing

new Industrial large air conditioning fan. Air conditioner units (HVAC) on a roof of industrial building

The AC unit helps condition your home by cooling it when it's hot and providing warmth when it's cold. But, when the fan blade breaks off, you should call a technician immediately to fix it. In most cases, replacing it is the solution.

Proper maintenance can prevent damage to the fan blades while prolonging the life of your AC.

Deciding whether to repair or replace your unit can be confusing. However, a technician can help you make the right decision.

To learn more about air conditioners, click on the links below:

Bryant AC Loud Buzzing Noise

Heil Vs Goodman Air Conditioner


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