Why Split AC Not Cooling, But Fan Is Running? Reason And Steps

Why Split AC Not Cooling But Fan Is Running? Reason And Steps

Are you facing this problem of split ac not cooling but fan is running? If yes, you are not the only person facing it; many individuals face this issue. But don’t worry; we will tell you how to fix it.

If the power source goes out, the split AC compressor might not work while the fan is running. It can be confusing because the whole unit might not be getting power from your home even though you can see the fan running.

So, in this article, we will explain why your split ac not cooling but fan is running. And what possible steps that you can take to solve this problem. We also provide you the bonus tips on maintaining your split AC system. And stopping this kind of problem in the future.

Split ac not cooling, but fan is running:

Split ac not cooling but fan is running

There are multiple reasons for this problem, like thermostat settings, dirty air filters, insufficient refrigerator leaks, and much more, and we will discuss them later. First, we need to understand the importance of AC to maintain indoor comfort and the common issue of it.

What Is An Air Conditioner Compressor?

Besides the problem where the split AC compressor isn’t working but the fan is, any problem with the compressor could be very bad because it’s the most important part of the cooling process.

This part, as the name suggests, turns the refrigerant into a high-pressure gas and squeezes it through your system. Following this, the coolant makes its way to the condenser coils, where it releases its heat, cooling your home along the way. Then, this process starts over, which keeps your unit at the same temperature all day.

Is Your AC Compressor Not Working, But Fan is Running?

Here are some things that could happen if your AC fan isn’t working:

  • The fan is blowing warm, dry air.
  • The power breaker keeps going off.
  • The compressor quits working all together.
  • The outside unit is making strange noises and shaking.
  • It’s Time to Fix the AC Unit Not working, but the fan is turning on

The fan is the most important part of the AC unit. A skilled AC worker will tell you whether the compressor should be replaced or fixed. A professional in the field can fix it before the costs start to add up.

5 Possible Reasons: Why split AC not cooling but fan is running:

Now we will explain five possible reasons why the split ac not cooling but fan is running. So, you need to understand it because it is essential.

1. Thermostat settings:

Thermostat settings is the problem of split AC not cooling but fan is running

It is a device that controls the temperature of the AC system by sending signals to the compressor and the fan. The thermostat has multiple settings that can affect the AC system’s cooling performance.

For Example: if the thermostat is set to “only fan” or “on,” then the fan will run continuously whatever the room temperature is. This can create a case where the split ac not cooling but fan is running. If you need to fix this issue, check the thermostat settings and ensure they are set to “cool” or “auto.”

This will identify that the fan will only run when the compressor is on, and the room requires cooling. You can also set the temperature low if you don’t feel cool.

Although the impact of a thermostat setting on split ac not cooling, but fan is running because it can stop the split ac from cooling properly and waste energy by running unnecessarily. This will result in high electricity bills, lower comfort, and enhanced wear and tear on the AC system. 

2. Dirty air filters:

The air filters are placed in the indoor unit of the split AC system, and they are responsible for filtering out the dust, dirt, and other particles from the air entering the AC system. After a little time, the air filter gets clogged with debris and decreases the airflow and cooling capacity of the AC system.

This will create the split ac not cooling but fan is running, and if you want to fix this issue, you should clean or replace the air filters regularly. It will depend on the recommendation of the manufacturers. You can find this in the manual provided by the manufacturer.

The impact of dirty air filters on split ac not cooling but fan is running is that it will decrease the efficiency and the performance of the split AC system and also affect the quality of the indoor air. The reason is that it is harder for the Air conditioner to cool the whole room.

Dirty air filters is the reason of split AC not cooling but fan is running

3. Insufficient refrigerant levels:

It is fluid which circulates in the split AC system and consumes or releases the heat to cool down the room. The refrigerant level must be maintained and balanced at a specific level according to the specification of the ac system.

If the level of refrigerant is low, then it can affect the cooling capacity of the ac system, and it can cause the split ac not cooling but fan is running a problem. Leaks, improper installation, or lack of maintenance will cause a low refrigerant level. To resolve this issue, you should call a professional technician who can check and repair the leaks and refill the refrigerant to the right level.

The impact of insufficient refrigerant levels is that it can damage the split ac system. The low refrigerant level will cause the compressor to get overheated and fail, which will cost you high to replace it.

Insufficient refrigerant levels

4. Faulty condenser unit:

The condenser unit is placed in the outdoor unit of the split AC system and is responsible for discharging the heat the refrigerant consumes from the indoor air. The condenser air is based on the fan, coil, and motor.

If any of these things are destroyed or faulty, they can affect the cooling performance of the AC system, which will create the split ac not cooling but fan is running problem. We can understand this problem through an example. If the fan is broken because of trash, it will stop the heat from evaporating properly.

The heat transfer efficiency will decrease if the coil is dirty and rusty. The impact of a faulty condenser unit is that it will decrease the lifespan and efficiency of the split AC system and enhance the energy consumption and noise level.

Faulty condenser unit is the reason of split AC not cooling but fan is running

5. Blocked or damaged air vents:

The open-air vents allow the cool air from the split AC system to enter the room. And the warm air will exit. The air vents must be clean and clear of any damage to ensure proper airflow and cooling.

If the air vents are blocked, they affect the cooling performance of the air conditioner system. Which creates the problem of split ac not cooling but fan is running. For Example, if the air vents are blocked by curtains, furniture, or any other object. They will restrict the airflow and decrease the cooling effect.

If the air vents are affected because of the holes, bends, or cracks. Then they will leak or shift the airflow and decrease the cooling efficiency. You must regularly check and clean the air vents to fix this problem.

The impact of blocked or damaged air vents on split ac not cooling but fan is running is that it can make uneven cooling. And hot spots in the room, which affect your comfort and health. Blocked or damaged air vents will make a few areas of the room cooler or warmer than others. This will cause discomfort and dissatisfaction.

Blocked or damaged air vents

What If The Compressor Itself Is Dead?

The above reasons for a split AC compressor not working but fan going were all based on a lot of different factors. The worst thing that could happen is that the compressor could get damaged.

If this happens to you, you only have two choices: replace the motor or the whole unit. If the fan in your fairly new split air conditioner died because it got too hot or there was a power surge, it might be better to replace the part.

But your machine might be too old for a new one to be worth the money. Sometimes, the cost of changing the compressor can be higher than the cost of putting in a new unit. This is normal, and even systems that are well taken care of have a limited lifespan because the parts inside start to break down.

If your HVAC system is fifteen years old or more, it makes more sense to buy a new one. It might be scary to think about spending close to $5,000 on a new device, but it will be worth it in the end. A newer system, for example, will save you a lot of money on fixes and, because it works better, will cut your energy costs by a lot.

Troubleshooting Steps: How to Solve Split Ac not Cooling but fan is running problem?

So, now after discussing the reasons above, let’s understand how to get rid of this problem. The Split ac not cooling, but fan is running.

1. Check thermostat settings and temperature

This is the 1st step in troubleshooting steps of split ac not cooling but fan is running. If you need to check the thermostat settings and temperature, then ensure that the thermostat is set to “cool” and not to “fan” or “heat.”

You must also ensure the setting temperature is lower than the current room temperature. If the thermostat is set to “fan” only, it will circulate the air without cooling.

On the other hand, if the thermostat setting is set to “heat,” then it will heat the air rather than cool it. If the thermostat’s setting is too high, the AC will not turn on or cool the air.

2. Inspect and clean air filters:

Inspect and clean air filters is te solution of split AC not cooling but fan is running

You need to find the air filter in your indoor unit to inspect and clean the air filters. Normally it is located behind the removable panel and grille. You should check if the air filter is dirty or blocked with dust, pet hair, or debris.

A dirty air filter can decrease your AC’s cooling efficiency and airflow. So, that’s why you need to clean the air filter properly by using brushes or vacuuming it. You can also wash it with mild soap and water if it can be washable.

Let it dry completely before putting it back. You can also change the air filter if it is destroyed, too much dirt, or cleaned.

3. Examine refrigerant levels:

This is the 3rd step in troubleshooting steps of split ac not cooling, but fan is running. If you want to check the refrigerant levels in the split AC, you need to measure them.

And compare the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant in the indoor and outdoor units using a gauge; then, you need to set a temperature sensor and a calculator.

The temperature and pressure readings should be between 5°F and 15°F for sub-cooling and superheating. If it does not work, the problem is in your AC system.

4. Assess the condenser unit for issues:

Assess the condenser unit for issues

If you want to assess the condenser unit for issues, you must inspect the outdoor unit in case of blockage or any damage, dirt, or leakage. We advise you to clean this debris, and coils, straighten the fins, fix the leakage, and check the fans.

5. Ensure proper airflow through vents:

This is the 5th step in troubleshooting steps of split ac not cooling but fan is running. To ensure the airflow through the vents, you need to check and clean the vents, adjust the thermostat and fan speed, open the dampers, and use AC fan mode if needed.

Similarly, if you facing to How To Fix Air Conditioner Leaking Water inside. Then we have effective ways to fix it.

How Do I Prevent AC Compressor Not Working, but Fan is Running?

Regular repair of the unit is the best way to keep problems from getting worse because it fixes most of them before they get worse. The compressor is made up of several parts that are simple to swap out. By checking the AC compressor on a regular basis, the broken part is found early and fixed, so there is no chance of an AC compressor problem.

If your AC fan stops working, it could be annoying and cause you stress. If you think something is wrong with the unit, you should call a professional HVAC technician.

Bonus Tips on Maintenance of AC

We discussed the reason and troubleshooting steps to solve the split ac not cooling, but fan is running problem above; now we are giving you some bonus tips to help you maintain the AC.

1. Regular cleaning and maintenance schedule:

It means you must check and clean the filters, fins, coils, drains, and other AC unit parts for at least one month. It is better to do this step according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Plus, you need to make a schedule in which you need to service your AC from a professional mechanic and do it at least once a year.

When you do this, you can make sure that your AC unit is working safely and efficiently and stop any potential problems or breakdowns that will cost you more worth and inconvenience in the long term.

2. Importance of professional servicing:

The 2nd tip in maintaining the AC is understanding the importance of professional servicing. You can do basic cleaning and maintenance yourself, but you can’t attempt to replace it or repair any AC unit parts needing technical tools or skills.

You always need to hire a qualified and licensed technician to inspect, diagnose and fix any issues with your AC unit.

Professional servicing will help you to avoid any warranty violations, safety hazards, warranty violations, or any further damages to your air conditioner.

It can also extend your AC unit’s lifespan and performance, saving you money and energy bills.

3. Keeping the Outdoor Unit clear of Obstructions:

The outdoor AC unit discharges the heat absorbed from your indoor air. It requires to have enough space and airflow around it to function properly and exactly. You need to ensure that there is no debris, plants, furniture, or any other object which blocks or covers the outdoor unit.

In addition, you can also trim any branches or shrubs which are too close to the unit. If you want to keep the outdoor unit clear of obstructions, stop any reduced efficiency, overheating, or any other damage to your AC unit.

4. Importance of proper insulation in maintaining cooling efficiency

Insulation is the material that stops heat from escaping or gets enter in your home through windows, doors, roofs, and walls. It will help you to keep your indoor temperature comfortable and constant.

If your insulation is destroyed, then it will cause your Ac unit to work harder and take more energy to cool your home.

In addition, you can also repair and check any gaps, cracks, or leaks in your insulation and seal any opening of your ducts, pipes, and vents in your surroundings. If you decrease your insulation, you will decrease the cooling load on your AC unit and save energy bills and money.

5. Avoiding overuse and excessive strain on the AC system:

While it is a hectic or stupid thing, your AC unit runs all day and night, especially in the hot weather, because it will create unnecessary wear and tear on your AC unit and enhance energy consumption.

Use your AC unit when needed, and set the thermostat settings to the responsible temperature which is comfortable for you. Plus, you must avoid placing heat-generating appliances or devices near your vents and thermostat. It also interferes with the temperature reading and creates your AC unit work harder.


A split AC not cooling but fan is running problem has multiple possible reasons that our expert team can identify. These include incorrect thermostat settings, dirty air filters, insufficient refrigerant levels, faulty condenser units, and blocked or damaged air vents.

Troubleshooting steps involve:

  • Checking and adjusting thermostat settings.
  • Inspecting and cleaning air filters.
  • Examining refrigerant levels.
  • Assessing the condenser unit for issues.
  • Making sure proper airflow is through vents.

Regular maintenance, professional servicing, keeping the outdoor unit clear, proper insulation, and avoiding overuse and strain on the AC system is key to preventing and resolving this problem.

Frequently Asked Questions: Split AC not cooling but fan is running:

Why is my AC not working, but is the fan still running?

If the fan is the only thing running when the AC unit is not, then there might be a fault regarding the switch prohibiting the settings on the thermostat from being communicated to the fan. The other cause of this problem is a wiring issue or a short circuit that stops the system from recognizing the on and off signals.

What to do when split AC is not cooling?

The split AC’s evaporator and condenser are often blocked or dirty. A dirty air filter restricts airflow, creating more problems, including a frozen evaporator coil. It is necessary to clean or change the air filter for great cooling and smooth performance.

Why is my AC compressor spinning but not cooling?

If the compressor clutch employs and turns the compressor, but the air conditioner still does not blow the cold air, your system is probably low on refrigerant, and you need to charge your system. 

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