Did you know that starting your central AC unit requires 4 to 8 times more electrical current than running it? This excess heat generated during startup can be damaging to your air conditioning system compressor. That’s where a hard start kit comes in. In this article, we’ll explore what a hard start kit does and whether you need one for your AC unit.
What is a Hard Start Kit?
A hard start kit consists of a start capacitor and a potential relay or PTC (positive temperature coefficient) device. Its purpose is to give your air conditioning compressor an electrical boost upon startup. Hard start kits are designed to address the problem of hard starting, which occurs when an AC struggles to turn on and then shuts off abruptly.
Why Does an AC Have Trouble Starting?
When you turn on your AC, its compressor powers on to cool your home. However, starting up the compressor requires significantly more electrical current than running it. This surge of power creates excess heat, which can damage the compressor and other AC components, especially if the compressor is old and worn out.
That’s where a hard start kit comes in. It helps the compressor start up to 10 times faster and more efficiently, reducing strain and prolonging the life of your cooling system. The kit overcomes the mechanical inertia upon startup and minimizes the amperage spike that can cause problems.
Do You Need a Hard Start Kit?
If you own an air conditioner, it’s beneficial to consider installing a hard start kit. Here are two scenarios where a hard start kit is worth considering:
Scenario #1: Your AC is Already Hard Starting
If your air conditioner is already hard starting, it’s essential to contact a professional to investigate the problem. Signs of hard starting include the AC quickly shutting off after turning it on, hearing clicking noises during compressor startup, the compressor tripping the circuit breaker, or experiencing flickering lights when the AC is turned on.
In this scenario, a hard start kit could potentially solve the issue. However, if your compressor is near the end of its life, it’s best to discuss with your technician whether replacing the AC system is a more cost-effective solution.
Scenario #2: You Have a New Air Conditioner
Many newer AC models no longer come with built-in hard start kits. If your air conditioner does not have one, it’s worth considering having an AC professional install a hard start kit. This is especially beneficial if your compressor is new and in good shape, as the kit can extend its life and help it start even in difficult conditions such as low voltage or high head pressure.
Contact Leonard Splaine for Hard Start Kit Installation
If you’re interested in installing a hard start kit for your air conditioner, contact Leonard Splaine. Our trusted technicians can visit your home and ensure your AC unit receives the electrical boost it needs for smooth and efficient startup.
Give us a call at 703-494-2855 to schedule an AC repair or installation appointment.