Air conditioning failures are among the more disheartening problems you can face as a homeowner, especially in the brutally hot summer months. There are plenty of reasons why your AC may stop working, but a compressor failure is usually the one that puts the final nail in any system's coffin. Once your compressor fails, it's often cheaper to install a new air conditioner than repair the old one.
However, not every compressor failure means doom for your cool and comfortable home. If your compressor doesn't turn on, your technician may recommend using a hard start kit as a potential fix. While this might get your system going, should you do it? And is it a permanent fix? This guide will help you understand when and if you should commit to a hard start kit.
Hard Start Kits Explained
Your air conditioner's compressor shares some similarities with your car's engine. Like your engine, it can't get going on its own. Since the compressor is a mechanical device, the motor must overcome the initial physical inertia present in the machine. In other words, your compressor takes more power to get moving than it does to keep running.
A hard start kit is a bit like your car's battery. The battery in your vehicle provides the initial juice to the starter, which then gets the car's motor running. A hard start kit includes a capacitor that stores the extra energy your compressor needs to start working. Since compressors tend to draw more power as they age, a system that didn't initially include a hard start kit may eventually need one.
How Hard Start Kits "Fix" Your Compressor
Your compressor will wear down with age and eventually stop working like any other mechanical device. How long your compressor will last can vary depending on how well you maintain your system and how often you use it, although more than ten years isn't uncommon. As your compressor ages, it will typically draw more power and struggle to start.
You may first notice this problem after winter ends. When you turn your AC on for the first time, the compressor may fail to start or immediately trip a breaker. These are both reasonable indications that your compressor is nearing the end of its life, but all hope isn't necessarily lost. By providing a little extra initial "oomph," a hard start kit may be able to get your compressor running again.
However, it's essential to understand that a hard start kit is only a temporary fix. If your compressor is struggling to start, it may only have a few years of life left. A hard start kit can repair your system and get it running again, but you may want to start planning for a replacement sometime in the next several years.
For more information, contact an AC repair service near you.Share
24 March 2022
After my sister moved into my house with me, she started complaining about the temperature. I had never really thought about it before, or maybe I was just used to it, but my house was pretty cold. She told me that she didn't think the furnace was working properly, so I started checking things out on my own. Sure enough, my furnace seemed to be having some serious problems. I started looking for a replacement, and I was able to find a great furnace for much less than what I initially thought I would need to spend. I wanted to make this blog for anyone out there who might need to shop for a new HVAC system. Check out these great articles for information you might need.