Over the past few years, air fryers have become more and more popular. Cooking with one in the kitchen is a great way to reduce the amount of oil in your diet. An air fryer can make anything from delicious crispy homemade fries to a tasty cake for dessert.
Because these devices are rather new to most homeowners, when something goes wrong, it can be hard to find a solution. If you find that the fan isn’t coming on when you turn on your air fryer, I’ve found a fix.
Turn the air fryer off and slide a butter knife into the gap where the fan is. Flip the switch to the ON position with a butter knife, plug the air fryer back in, and turn it on to test it. Otherwise, you can open the air fryer to tighten the fan on your own or with a professional’s help.
If you’ve ever encountered other issues with your air fryer, we’ll talk about the most common. Hopefully, you find whatever fix you need to get your favorite appliance working as good as new again.
Table of Contents
- What is an Air Fryer?
- How to Fix a Broken Power Fan on an Air Fryer
- Four Other Common Problems With Air Fryers
- Related Questions
What is an Air Fryer?
An air fryer creates your favorite snacks and meals by circulating hot air. You place your food in a basket and slide the basket into a cooking chamber. Inside this chamber, there is a heating coil that lets out heat while a fan blows it around.
If the fan isn’t working properly, the circulation process will be disturbed. You’ll technically be able to cook a piece of food, but it won’t be done thoroughly. When the fan isn’t working, it’s in your best interest not to make anything with the air fryer until it’s fixed.
How to Fix a Broken Power Fan on an Air Fryer
There are a variety of reasons the fan on your air fryer may not be working. It’s my job to teach you what the culprit could be and how to fix it. There could be an easy fix, or it might be an extra task to add to your “to-do” list.
Check to see if the safety switch on the base of the drawer is triggered. If it’s not, the fan won’t turn on thanks to the safety interlock. If the safety switch is all good, it could be a possible electrical connection issue.
Sometimes the fan’s power source can get loose and needs to be adjusted for the fan to work again. There could even be an issue with the components within the fan causing the problem.
Sometimes the drawer will be stuck in the cooking position. When you take it out to put in food, and the fan doesn’t power up, the machine could already think it’s on. It’s not uncommon for it to lose contact between the switch and the drawer either.
The safety switch is easy to spot, so this fix shouldn’t be too difficult. If you checked to see if the safety switch in the basket is triggered and it’s not, here’s how you can fix it.
Step One: Confirm the Source
The first thing you’ll want to try is testing the drawer. With the air fryer plugged in and turned on, take the drawer out and slide it in. Do this a few times to see if you can get the fan to start. It’s safe to assume if you’re reading this, you’ve already tried this step before.
This means you’re one step closer to a working air fryer. If you perform this action and the fan doesn’t come on, the problem is the safety switch. Now that it’s confirmed let’s move onto step two.
Step Two: Activate the Switch
To activate the switch, you’ll need a butter knife. If you don’t have one on hand, an old gift card or credit card will also get the job done. Slide the drawer into the machine like you would if you were to be cooking something.
A quick note: if you’re using a butter knife for this, make sure the unit is off to avoid electrocution. When the drawer is in the proper position, slide the knife or card into the gap to put the switch into an activated position. Doing this bypasses the safety interlock, and the air fryer should be usable again.
Step Three: Test the Unit
Making sure the knife is out of the machine, turn the air fryer on again. You should immediately hear the fan power up as usual. If you’re positive you did step two correctly and the fan isn’t coming on, it’s time to call the manufacturer.
This means it might not be the safety switch that’s causing the issue. If it’s a malfunction or an electrical connection, professionals will be able to help. You shouldn’t try to fix these problems on your own as it could result in injury.
When to Call for Help
Some of these issues will need to be resolved with the manufacturer, as they require their expertise. If you recently bought your air fryer, you’ll likely be under warranty and can get it fixed for free.
Manufacturers often offer free technical support within a specific timeframe of when you purchased their product. They’ll be able to guide you to any replacement parts you might need or issue you a refund if you happen to get a faulty machine.
One of the great advantages of air fryers being relatively new is that they have plenty of safety precautions built-in. There’s a handy exhaust system on the back of every unit to get rid of excess hot air. You’ll also find that the temperature inside the machine while in use is regulated and controlled.
That being said, one of the safety precautions is the interlock on the side of the base where the drawer goes in. The point of this switch is to tell the machine that the drawer is in place, and it’s okay to start cooking.
After this happens, the heating element will power-up, as well as the fan to start cooking food thoroughly. You can easily adjust things like the temperature and cooking time with the functions of your air fryer. These can vary from one unit to another but are generally in the form of knobs or keypads.
Four Other Common Problems With Air Fryers
Now that you know how to easily fix the power air fryer fan not working, there could be other issues you’re facing. One of the downfalls of air fryers being new to most homes is that there’s a lot of trial and error with owning one. Here are the common problems that you might face if you cook with one of these machines.
Food is Too Dry
When you don’t cook with as much oil or none at all, you might notice that your food is drier. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean there’s an issue with the machine. Simply add a bit more oil, and you’ll notice that your food is a bit more enjoyable.
White Smoke Emits From the Appliance
Sometimes an air fryer will emit white smoke while it’s in use. Don’t reach for the fire extinguisher just yet; this is usually just a sign that your food is cooking. When oil and fat in the food items mix, it can cause white smoke.
If the smoke makes you nervous, consider putting something under the floor of the basket to absorb the oil. Bread is a great thing that could soak up excess oil without causing a fire hazard. To avoid smoke, you could also make sure your food is coated in oil before going into the basket rather than pouring oil on top of the food in the air fryer.
Unevenly Baked Food
Have you ever microwaved something only to realize it was cooked on the outside but frozen in the middle? This is something that can happen with appliances like instant pots and air fryers too. Uneven cooking in an air fryer is usually due to a lack of air.
Make sure there isn’t anything blocking the airflow. Check the basket to make sure the grid isn’t clogged with any prior food as well. This is a great reason to ensure there’s plenty of room behind the exhaust vents and that the appliance isn’t directly up against a wall.
Old Frying Basket
As you continue to use your air fryer, you might notice that the non-stick element of the basket begins to fade. While there isn’t too much you can do to prevent this from happening, keeping it clean should help. Soak your air fryer basket in hot soapy water after each use.
Can you open an air fryer while cooking?
There’s nothing wrong with opening an air fryer while it’s cooking. Unlike an oven, it won’t lose height in an instant. Be aware that the insides of the basket will be hot and that you shouldn’t touch the food while it’s cooking.
Can I put paper towels in the air fryer?
You should avoid putting paper towels in an air fryer. They might be good for soaking up oil, but they can disrupt the airflow. When the airflow is messed with, you could end up with poorly cooked food.
How long does it take to preheat an air fryer?
It takes, on average, around three minutes to preheat an air fryer. This will give you optimum cooking and the perfect temperature to make your favorite dish. This fast heat-up time is one of the great advantages of an air fryer.