What is a Condenser Fan? | (Homeowners Guide to Condenser Fan Motors)

What is a Condenser Fan?

The Condenser Fan is located on the top side of most AC units (see picture below).

Its job is to draw air through the AC condenser coils in order to remove heat the refrigerant picked up from inside of your home. In this guide, you will learn about Condenser Fan motors, the cost to replace them, and the differences between a Blower Fan motor and a Condenser motor. (Picture to the top fan on the outdoor unit.)

Condenser Fan AC

What are some differences between a Condenser Fan motor and Blower Fan motor?

A Blower Fan motor is located inside your furnace or air handler. The Air Conditioner Condenser Fan motor is located in the outside AC unit.
The Blower Motor fan is used to circulate air through the vents inside your home. The Condenser Motor is used to turn the big fan blades on the top side of most AC units in order to cool the refrigerant. The blower fan looks much more like a big hamster wheel than a typical fan. An AC fan looks more like a traditional in home fan with typical blades to circulate the air.

What’s a typical Condenser Fan motor replacement cost?

If your HVAC Condenser Fan motor is burnt out, a Condenser Fan motor repair will run between $325-$575.

Why such a big range? There are different sizes of fan motor depending on the tonnage of your air conditioner. Higher tonnage units often have bigger, more expensive motors increasing replacement costs. Markets with higher labor rates will also have an affect on the total cost of replacing a condenser fan motor.

Why is my AC Condenser Fan not working?

  • Tripped Breaker
  • Jammed by Debris
  • Capacitor
  • Fan Motor Burn Out
  • Contactor

Tripped Breaker-Electrical storms can cause breakers to trip as can an overload on the circuit. It is always a good idea to check for the simplest solution first so checking the breaker’s a good place to start.

Jammed by Debris-If your unit sits below a heavily wooded area, another easy fix to consider is whether a small branch or some other debris fell through the AC fan opening and is jamming your unit.

Capacitor-A capacitor stores energy in order to power the AC condenser’s fan. It is best to get the capacitor replaced by an HVAC professional since it stores energy and can be dangerous.

Contactor-A contactor is an electrical switch responsible for controlling the condenser fan motor. Over time these items will go bad. This is another component better left to replacement by a licensed contractor.

What does it mean if my Fan Motor is Burnt Out?

The AC condenser fan motor will burn out or stop working if they get overloaded and overworked. The best way to prevent your fan motor from prematurely warring out is to properly maintain your air conditioner. (See AC Condenser maintenance link for more details).

Ductless VS Central Air (The Complete 2020 Comparison Guide)

The Complete Guide to Ductless VS Central Air

This guide is intended to help you determine if installing a ductless vs central air conditioning is right for you.

What is a Ductless AC Unit?

Ductless systems have indoor and outdoor pieces of equipment similar to traditional central air conditioning systems. However, ductless systems don’t require any inside ductwork running through walls, ceilings, or floors to distribute the airflow like traditional central air conditioning systems.

4 Benefits of a Ductless Air Conditioning system

  • Rooms can be independently zoned/controlled
  • No additional ductwork required
  • Efficient to operate
  • Relatively simple to install

The benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning systems can be significant in some types of situations like log homes, prefinished basements, sunrooms or new additions.

2 Main Drawbacks of a Ductless Air Conditioner

The biggest drawback to ductless air conditioner systems is they need to be installed through an exterior wall within the space they serve.

Some consumers also feel the large air vents of ductless air conditioning systems are visually less appealing than those used with conventional HVAC systems.

How does a Ductless Central Air Conditioner Actually Work?

Ductless central air conditioners produce cool air the same way as a ducted system.

Warm air is drawn into both systems from inside the home. The warm air runs across an evaporator coil where heat is absorbed by the refrigerant. This captured heat is transferred outside where it is released back into the atmosphere at the AC condensing unit. This process also produces a byproduct of water, which is also transferred outside the home.

How much does it Cost for Ductless Air Conditioning?

The average cost for residential ductless air conditioning is between $3,000 and $13,000 for most homes.

3 Main Factors Affecting the Cost to Install a Ductless mini Split

  • Circuit Breaker Capacity
  • Tonnage Requirements
  • Difficulty of Installation

These can all play a role in the overall cost to install a ductless mini split and should be discussed with your HVAC contractor.

Ductless VS Central Air, which one’s right for you?

This is not a simple answer and depends on what your specific home can accommodate, your personal preference, and overall budget.
Adding new ductwork to many homes can be a daunting task and, in some cases, isn’t even possible. For more help with this and all your HVAC related questions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a licensed heating and cooling professional.

If you own a home in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area and/or would like helpful info regarding your residential HVAC project, give us a call at: (678)HVAC BEE | That’s, (678)482-2233.

How much does It cost to install central air conditioning?

Generally the cost to install central air will run from $4,500 on the low end to $20,000 or more on the upper end but there are several factors that will impact the overall cost.

The time of year you choose to install the system will definitely impact the price you’ll pay. Like it or not, if you wait until demand is at its peak, during those hot summer months, you’re going to pay more for the exact same job. If you’re able to plan the work and get the job done in the off season, it will often end up saving you a bundle.

Another thing which can greatly impact the price you’ll pay is the area of the country you live. For example, if your home’s in New York City as opposed to Huntsville, Alabama, you’re going to pay more for the exact same work and equipment because the cost of warehouse space and labor in each of those markets varies dramatically.

3 Main Factors Impacting the Average Cost to Replace Heating and Air conditioning

Older homes can present a variety of challenges when installing a Central Air Conditioning will require different approaches to achieve proper functionality.system and depending on the area of the country, type of construction, or style of home, the system installation

  • Tonnage of AC system-The bigger the space needing to be cooled the more tonnage the AC unit you’ll need to condition that space. Bigger systems simply cost more. However, tonnage is not the only thing which can impact the price you’ll pay. Older homes with poor insulation or inadequate windows will all play into what size equipment is required to keep the space comfortable and able to maintain a consistent temperature. Other things which can have a big impact are the amount of tree cover or direct sunlight on your home.
  • Time of Year- Just like most seasonally heavy types of work, installers of air conditioning systems are busier during the peak time of year, which is summer in this case. It is simply uncomfortable to live in a hot, humid environment when there’s no AC and demand for their servicing shoots up. Like any other product or service, when demand goes up, so will the price because the supply of people available to perform the work is harder to find. Therefore, getting this work done in the winter, fall, or spring can result in a 30-40% savings!
  • What work needs to be done- The largest percentage of the cost to install a new central air conditioner is undoubtedly the labor. Materials typically range from 25-35% of the total cost so jobs requiring a lot of man hours to complete will drive up the overall cost of the project. For example, if your existing ductwork is substandard and needs replacing, this will require many man hours compared to the actual cost of the materials needed to complete the job.

It’s always a great idea to become well informed and educated prior to taking on any home improvement project. With prices ranging between $4,500 on the low end to $20,000 on the upper, it can literally save you thousands just by simply waiting until the off season to purchase your new AC system.

Can you install Central Air in any house?

The simple answer is yes. However, that does not mean all central air options are created equal and there are a few questions you’ll need to ask around ductwork to figure it out.

  • Does my home have existing ductwork?
  • Are my ducts in good shape?
  • Do I need additional ductwork?

Some pre-existing ductwork can easily be modified to fit the new equipment. If the ductwork is in good shape and doesn’t need substantial repair work, your job will be at the lower end of the cost spectrum.

As opposed to retrofitting existing ductwork, if no ductwork currently exists, you may want to consider a ductless cooling system.

How much does it cost to install Central Air with existing ductwork?

A typical central air conditioning system installation in a home that already has good, well sized ductwork will cost between $5,000-$15,000 depending on the efficiency, features and tonnage of the system being replaced.

How much does it cost to install Central Air and ductwork?

The cost to install central air and ductwork will range between $8,500-$20,000 or more.

Keep in mind, it is not always solely about the price, as doing the project incorrectly can be extremely costly and may ultimately lead to a much more expensive total investment to properly condition your residential space.

If you live in the greater Atlanta Georgia area and have any questions about the direction of your next HVAC project, give our team a buzz at (678)HVAC BEE or visit www.havcbee.com.

What is MERV Rating? | (The Complete Homeowners Guide to – Merv Rating for Air Filters)

What is MERV Rating?

The MERV rating on air filters is a number from 1-16 that was established to help consumers understand how good a particular air filter is at removing foreign airborne particles.

What are MERV ratings?

MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. This designation was derived by the American Society of Heating and Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, to help consumers compare the performance level of various air filters.

How do I find the MERV rating on filters.

There are two thicknesses for mechanical air filters that are used on most residential HVAC systems.
For both the 1” and 5” filters, MERV rating can typically be found on the narrow 1” or 5” edge of most residential filters. The MERV rating is also located on most filter packaging labels.

Highest and lowest MERV rating air filters

The MERV rating on air filters for residential HVAC systems range from 1-16. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particle it is able to trap and the better it is at removing them.
Click to see a detailed chart on Average Particle Size Efficiency in Microns.

5 benefits of a higher MERV rating on filters:

  • Less Dust
  • Less Pollen
  • Less Mold
  • Less Allergan
  • Better Quality Air

What MERV rating should I use?

If minimizing pollens, allergens, molds or dust is a priority, you’ll want to pay closer attention to the MERV rating on air filters you choose.

Many older systems still use 1” filters for removing contaminants from your home. Determining what MERV rating is best if this is the case may be more difficult since higher MERV rated 1” filters can also be highly restrictive to good airflow. In these cases you’re sometimes better off choosing a filter with a lower MERV rating that can compensate for this restriction.

For most 5” filters, if money’s not the main concern, you’re better off getting a MERV 16 since it provides the best indoor air quality and also helps to protect the internal workings of the furnace and AC coil.

So What is a HEPA filter?


HEPA or“High Efficiency Particulate Air” is an acronym for a pleated type of mechanical air filter. It was established by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Theoretically a HEPA air filter can remove up to 99.97% of pollen, mold, bacteria, dust or any other airborne particle the size of 0.3 microns.

Any particles larger than this will get trapped at an even higher efficiency. For reference sake 45-50 microns is the average size of human hair. The human eye can generally not see anything that’s smaller than 40 micron

What MERV rating is best?

Now that you have a better understanding of MERV vs HEPA, deciding what MERV rating is best for you should be a far less daunting task.

HEPA filters are generally used in hospital settings and have the highest MERV ratings of between 17-20.

For additional Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) details, see the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What size of AC do I need?

This guide will help you quickly determine what size AC would be perfect for your home.

How many tons of AC per square foot?

AC Size Chart

How do I calculate what size air conditioner I need?

The 5 Easy Steps

  • Enter your home’s square footage
  • Select geographic area
  • Choose the number of occupants living in your home
  • Enter number of windows
  • Select your home’s level of insulation

So, what size central AC do I need? = 3 (X) tons! (The answer here)

disclaimer- This tool is a great reference for what size air conditioning unit your home needs but always be sure to consult with an HVAC expert for more information prior to undergoing any heating or air conditioning projects.

What Size of AC do I need?

7 Factors to Consider

  • Square Footage of Home
  • Geographic Region
  • Occupants
  • Window Quantity / Type
  • Insulation (R-Value)
  • Sun Exposure
  • Ductwork Sizing
  • Square Footage of Home- The primary factor when determining what size air conditioning unit your home will require is the overall square footage of the space.(Although, not all square footage is created equal.)
    • Ceiling Height: 1200 square foot home with 8 foot ceilings throughout will require significantly less cooling capacity than a 1200 square foot home with 15 foot vaulted ceilings.
    • Building Materials: A 1200 square foot home that has all vinyl siding will require significantly more than a 1200 square foot all brick home.
  • Geographic Region– Areas of the country with long summer seasons will require more cooling, as do areas with a higher humidity.
  • Number of Occupants– Human beings create body heat. The more people you have inside any given space, the more cooling will be required to offset that additional heat. (Ref. stat for human heat)
    • 1 person = 600 btu (pick a ref to outlink to)
    • 2 person = 1200 btu
  • Window Quantity and Type– The total number of windows along with their R-Value will have a surprising effect on how much heat or cold they allow into the home.
    • Type of Windows- Single, Double, and Triple Pane
    • Glass Thickness
    • Material Type: Wood, Vinyl, and Aluminum
  • Insulation (R-Value)– There are many different types of insulations that each are assigned a different R Value.
    • Higher R-Value = More Effective Insulation
  • Sun Exposure– The total amount of time your home is exposed to or shaded from direct sun exposure also has an impact on the overall cooling capacity needed.
  • Ductwork Sizing– Although sizing your equipment is important, it is equally important that your ductwork matches the capacity of your air conditioning system.
    Click for more information on Ductwork Sizing. (hyperlink to duct sizing page.)

It is extremely important to size your HVAC equipment properly to ensure it is capable of satisfying the heating and cooling needs of your specific home. HVAC Bee is providing this information as a quick reference guide for homeowners to gain a better understanding of those sizing requirements.

For more specific sizing information, consult your local HVAC Contractor to perform a detailed load calculation for your space.

The Complete Guide to Air Conditioning Refrigerants -| Freon in Air Conditioning (The Freon Ban)

Main Types of Air Conditioning Refrigerants

There are two main types of refrigerants used in residential air conditioning systems.

  • Freon” otherwise known as R22
  • Puron” which is also known as R-410A

The original Freon refrigerant has caused concern in the heating and air conditioning industry because it has proven chemical properties that make it harmful to the ozone layer. Freon was officially phased out as of January 1, 2020, meaning it is illegal to manufacture Freon in the United States.

The major benefit in converting to Puron since it is NOT as harmful to the ozone.

The Difference Between Puron and Freon in Air Conditioning

  • The disband Freon (R22) cooling agent can be referred to chemically as an (HCFC) or hydrochlorofluorocarbon or HCFC.
  • As for the new EPA approved Puron refrigerant, it can be referred to as or Hydrofluorocarbon or more commonly, HFC.

Did you catch the difference?

Why Puron in Air Conditioning? | (Approved Refrigerant)

The difference between HCFC and HFC is simply the removal of one ‘C’. It causes some confusion but just means the removal of one element, the chemical Chlorine.

This environmental impact, along with enforced government regulations, are why so many homeowners have already converted to the new Puron HFC coolant.

The United States Regulation of AC Freon | Banned Refrigerants – (The Freon Ban)

In 1987 the Montreal Protocol was introduced which regulated future production and importation of older style chlorine-based coolants into the United States market.

This regulation stated that,

“As of January 1, 2020, no new HCFC-22 will be made or imported into the United States, but used HCFC-22 will continue to be available.”

(United States EPA)


“People can continue to use air-conditioning (AC) equipment that operates on HCFC-22, EPA does not require homeowners to replace their existing equipment.”

(United States EPA)

This means that if you are already using the older style refrigerant, whether it is a window unit or central HVAC system, you’re not required by law to make any changes to your current equipment.

When to Update AC Refrigerant | (Replacing Freon)

Although you are not required by law to replace your existing system even if it operates on the older freon coolant, often times it can make sense to look into replacement anyways.

Top 3 Factors When Considering Replacing Freon for an Approved Refrigerant:

  • How does your system function currently?
  • Does your equipment need any major repair work?
  • Are you low on refrigerant and it needs a recharge?

Determining if switching makes sense for you really depends on whether or not your current system is still functioning properly, whether or not it needs any major repair work, and/or if your system needs a refrigerant recharge.

Cost Per Pound of Puron VS Freon in Air Conditioning?

The average price per pound of refrigerant can vary significantly by state and vendor but the general range in cost for a refrigerant recharge in 2020 is:

Cost of Freon per pound (R22) = The average pricing ranges from $40 to $180 per pound
Cost of Puron per pound = The average cost of puron refrigerant is $20 to $75 a pound.

The labor cost for a service tech to perform the recharge often outweighs the cost of the refrigerant and can drive the overall price.

Main Reasons for Replacing Freon

  • Large Impact on the Environment
  • Spike in Cost of Freon (Due to Freon Ban)
  • Higher Efficiency of New HVAC Equipment
  • Less Worry from Equipment Failure

The Freon ban has been a long time coming and for good reason. When you are considering whether or not to replace your existing heating and air equipment or continuing to recharge the system, it’s important to realize your overall impact on the world we all live in.

Since the supply for Freon has been completely cut off, the cost for recharging continues to skyrocket which can make switching to newer equipment a more economical choice.

With the 14 SEER Minimum Efficiency Standard (Ref to SEER Page) in place, replacing your older unit with new HVAC equipment can save you a bundle on your electric bill and alleviate the stress of continued system failure.

Contact Today to have your AC Coolant checked or updated with our ‘No-Sting Pricing.’

What is an AC Blower Motor? | How Much Does It Cost to Replace One? (2020)

What is an AC Blower Motor?

The AC Blower Motor, not to be confused with AC Fan motor, is responsible for the air circulation inside your home, whether the HVAC system is in heating or cooling mode. Without a functioning Blower Motor, an AC system will not cool your home.

Is there a difference between an HVAC Blower Motor and an AC Blower Motor?

No, an AC Blower Motor and HVAC Blower Motor are essentially the same thing. It is referred to as an HVAC blower motor because it is responsible for circulating air in both heating and cooling cycles for the home.

Even though people often refer to the Blower Motor as an AC Blower Motor, it is actually located inside of the HVAC systems furnace or air handler!

The HVAC Blower Motor is located towards the bottom side of the furnace, or top of an air handler, and is a cylindrical shaped fan that looks somewhat like a hamster wheel. The HVAC blower spins to draw air from the home into the furnace or air handler and, once conditioned, back into the home where it will heat or cool the space.

The 3 different types of HVAC Blower Motors

  • Single Stage
  • Constant Torque
  • Variable Speed

A Single Stage AC blower motor functions only at one speed, 100%. This type of fan is either ‘OFF’ or running at ‘FULL’ 100% capacity. Similar to a light bulb without a dimmer.

A Constant Torque AC blower motor has 2 speeds. This equipment ramps up in a slow progressive way which causes less stress to the HVAC blower motor. This enables your AC to operate at a slightly higher efficiency then it would with a single stage.

A Variable Speed AC motor blower does exactly what the word implies, it can operate at varying speeds in 1% increments all the way up to 100%. The biggest advantage to this type of HVAC blower motor is, when matched with the correct thermostat, it can provide humidity control to the home.

Key Benefits of a Variable Speed Blower Motor

  • Humidity Control Provides Better Overall Comfort
  • More Efficient Operation of the Air Conditioning Unit
  • Better Circulation of Air Resulting in Better Indoor Air Quality

How does a variable speed AC motor blower control humidity?

The AC motor blower can also be utilized as a built in dehumidification system when it’s variable speed but it must be paired with a thermostat able to control this functionality.

How does a variable speed HVAC Blower Motor dehumidify?

Once a desired temperature is achieved, a ‘smart’ thermostat tells the HVAC Blower Motor to slow down so it provides just enough airflow to maintain a steady, constant temperature at the thermostat. Since there’s still airflow moving through the evaporator coil it can continue to pull additional moisture from the air until it archives the desired humidity level.

How Long Should an AC Blower Motor Last?

HVAC blower motors last 15-25 years on average and the longevity of these components can depend on the manufacturer, the installation itself, and the ease or restriction of air flow to the unit.

When should I consider replacing my HVAC Blower Motor?

  • Fan cannot maintain proper indoor temperature
  • Component is making ‘funny’ noises
  • Complete Blower Fan Motor Failure

How much does it cost to replace an AC Blower Motor?

The average price of an AC Blower Motor replacement in 2020 is $425 with prices ranging from $200 – $2000 depending on equipment type / availability, warranty, accessibility to the fan itself, and installation location.

Give us a buzz today! (770)HVAC-BEE