The motor is the heart of an air conditioner. So, when it starts to malfunction or simply stops working, your AC is in pressing need of repair work. As you’ll soon see, there are several steps involved in the process of replacing an AC motor.

Unfortunately, some people see this as just another DIY project. However, it requires a highly trained HVAC technician to get all of the steps of this project done safely and successfully.

Select the Appropriate AC Motor

An AC motor has a label displaying several pertinent numbers and other information. A technician looks at the label on the old AC motor to note the model, voltage, RPMs, and horsepower. Then, the tech compares this label with the one on the new motor to ensure a match.

This comparison occurs at the beginning of the process to avoid putting the wrong type of motor into the unit. When the wrong motor goes into an AC unit, it’s either going to burn out or not work at all.

A well-trained HVAC technician is knowledgeable about the various brands and models of AC motors. This on-the-ground experience gives a technician the advantage of being able to select the best quality motors.

In addition, a technician can visually inspect a new motor before installing it in an AC unit. Subtle damage can occur during the delivery process that may affect the motor’s operation. The trained eye of an HVAC technician can easily spot these imperfections. Alternatively, someone without any training or experience with AC motors would likely overlook these details.

Turn Off the Power to the Unit

Flipping the appropriate switch in the circuit breaker box turns off the power to the AC unit. Once the power is off, the technician removes the side panel to access the wiring. This is where the wires running from the motor connect to the AC unit. An HVAC tech carries a multimeter to check the wires to ensure there’s no power running through them. This extra precaution is important to maintain the safety of the technician.

Remove the Top Panel

After disconnecting the wires from the old motor, the technician removes the screws from the top panel of the AC unit. The fan blades remain connected to the panel, so it can be a weighty item to lift off the unit.

As a note, a technician knows the underside of this panel is a popular place for wasps to build nests. So, the top panel is carefully removed, allowing the technician to scan it for potential nests. This is just another important yet lesser-known piece of knowledge an HVAC technician has about this process.

Remove the Fan Blades

The motor sits beneath the fan blades of an AC unit. So, the technician loosens the set screw that connects the fan blades to the main shaft. Removing the fan from the top panel is one of the more delicate steps of the process. Bending or otherwise damaging the fan blades is a costly mistake. A trained HVAC technician knows the proper amount of pressure to put on the fan in order to remove it. Many AC technicians use a lubricant to make the task easier and reduce the risk of damage. After removing the fan, it’s put to the side.

Our professional HVAC technicians at Thermo Direct in Raleigh are NATE-certified with experience installing AC motors. Our technicians methodically work through each step of the process to get your air conditioner operating at its best.

Remove the Old Motor

The next step in the process has the HVAC technician removing the old motor. Most technicians double-check the labels on the old and new motor to make sure they are definitely a match.

Install New AC Motor and Reinstall Fan Blades

The technician secures the new motor in its proper place. Then, the fan goes back on the shaft, and the set screw is tightened to secure it. The wires on the new motor travel through the opening in the side of the unit to connect inside the wiring compartment. Not surprisingly, an air conditioning unit contains a lot of wires that vary in color. An HVAC technician receives training on the intricate system of wiring.

The technician examines the wires coming from the motor to see if they’re too close to the fan blades. A seasoned tech knows that the vibration of the fan blades can gradually move the position of the wires. Wires that move too close to the fan blades are going to sustain damage.

Normally, the technician puts the bundle of wires inside a sleeve to keep them secure. Some technicians prefer to use a zip-tie to bundle the wires, keeping them away from the fan blades.

Reattach the Top Panel

The top panel goes back onto the unit with the screws to secure it. An HVAC technician knows the right way to fit the top panel onto the unit. It can take several adjustments to fit it over all four sides. When the top panel is not in the right position, it prevents the proper operation of the fan blades.

Reattach Panel Over Wiring Compartment

The technician takes another look at the wires to ensure the ones running to the new motor are secure. Then, the access panel goes back over the wiring compartment of the unit.

Manually Test Fan Blade Operation

The technician uses a long screwdriver or another slender tool to manually push the fan blades. This is a simple way to ensure they’re circulating freely without hitting any wires.

Turn on the Power to the AC

With everything back in place, the last step is to turn on the power to the AC unit. The technician tests the unit to see if the motor starts and runs as it’s supposed to. If there’s an issue, such as a loose wire or a misaligned connection, the technician shuts off the AC power to correct the problem.

The Benefits of Having an HVAC Technician Replace an AC Motor

An experienced HVAC technician is able to replace the motor of an AC unit in a timely way. There are other benefits to calling an HVAC technician to handle this project.

  • Has the proper equipment and tools
  • Knowledgeable about safety procedures
  • Knows the parts of an AC unit
  • Familiar with most reliable brands of equipment

Since 2000, our team at Thermo Direct has been proud to serve folks in Raleigh and the surrounding area. We offer a variety of AC repairs, including motor installation. Our technicians also provide dependable AC installation and maintenance work.

In addition, our company offers heating installation, repairs, and maintenance along with a menu of electrical services. Duct installation and repair, as well as air quality services, are also available. We are experts at addressing your heating, cooling, electrical, and air quality needs!

In 2021, our team earned the ANGI Super Service Award. Plus, in 2022, we won the Best AC Repair Services in Raleigh from We are BBB, Energy Star, and BPI-certified. In other words, you can have confidence in the quality of our work in your home.

For professional AC motor replacement, contact our team at Thermo Direct in Raleigh today!


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