Condenser Fans?
Can You Feel Them?

Condenser fans can actually indicate problems by feel!

No, I don't mean feeling the blade, I mean feeling the airflow.

Just a quick check of the air blowing off the condenser coil can communicate important information.

When making my rounds inspecting refrigeration units, I often hold my hand in the column of air emitted by the condenser motor.

What does it tell me?

What is the temperature?

If the air is too warm:

1. I check the coil for dirt or debris.

2. If the refrigeration equipment is using multiple fans staged by pressure controls, they may not be set correctly. The motors are not running when needed.

3. The motor may have the wrong rotation.

If the air is too cool:

1. I check the refrigerant charge. The unit may low.

2. The pressure controls may not be set correctly. The motors are running too often.

3. There is not enough load on the system. This can be caused by an iced evaporator coil. Do I see any frost?

What about the air column?

Is the column of air blowing full and directly off the blade?

Or is the column of air dispersed and blowing around the outer edges of the blade?

A full and direct column is normal.

But a column dispersed can indicate:

1. A clogged condenser coil.

2. A damaged condenser coil with crushed fins.

3. A blade that has been mounted too low on the motor shaft or too high on the motor shaft.

4. The wrong motor rotation.

See what I mean?

Years of experience gives one a sixth sense.

Eventually you just have a feeling that something is not right.

Learn to listen to that feeling!


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