If you have an oven that uses convection heating, be it to all your cooking or just as a feature, it will use a fan that circulates the oven heat throughout the tub during the cooking process. These ovens are a boon as it can provide even heating to multiple dishes at one time no matter what rack they are on. However, if that fan fails, it can mean quite the opposite will happen when you try to cook and can have potentially disastrous results.
If the fan in your oven is no longer working altogether or is blowing cold air rather than hot air, it will mean that one of two things are malfunctioning – the fan and motor assembly or the heating element by the fan itself. However, in order to make the right repair, you need to be able to troubleshoot which is the faulty area.
Faulty Heating Element
In convection ovens, the fan is installed by its own heating element. If the element is faulty, it is the easiest problem to diagnose. Your oven and its fan will work very much as normal, but rather than circulating warm air, it will circulate cold air. Your oven may still get warm as there are typically two elements that provide heat. However, when the fan is blowing, the air will not be hot.
The convection element is located at the top of the oven tub but maybe in the back wall of some models. You will be able to tell where it is by locating the vents leading to the fan area. Before attempting to remove whichever panel inside your oven, you will want to shut off the power via unplugging the oven or turning it off at your circuit breaker. As this element is located in kind of an awkward spot, you will also want to remove your oven door just to get it out of the way. This can be done by opening the door all the way, unlocking the latches at the bottom corners, then closing it most of the way before pulling it up and out.
After removing the appropriate panel, you should be able to see visible damage on the heating element. However, if you cannot see any bubbling or burning on that coil, it could mean that the element is damaged inside its casing. You can test further with a multimeter to see if it is faulty.
Faulty Motor or Fan
If the fan on your oven isn’t working at all, then it is likely not a case of a faulty heating element, but rather a problem with the fan itself or the motor that turns it. In order to check, you will need to remove the top panel first where you can visually inspect the fan. If it dirty, it may be partially obstructed, causing it to not turn.
However, to reach the actual motor you will need to remove the back panel or the panel on the outside behind where the fan is located. If the fan isn’t dirty or obstructed, the motor is likely the cause of non-function. If can be tested for continuity with a multimeter, then replaced if necessary.
Unlike the heating element that is often easily reached despite the awkward location, reaching the motor involves more disassembly than many would be comfortable doing. So if your oven fan is not functioning at all, you may want to contact a professional appliance repair technician so the repair is made quickly and you don’t have to spend a day figuring out how to take apart your specific model of oven.