As we settle in for the warm weather of the year and get used to having air conditioning systems running again, we recommend you pay close attention to how your AC is operating. If you already arranged for its annual maintenance inspection and tune-up, then you’re in excellent shape: you can expect the cooling system to have few troubles through the summer. But even with this protection from a system breakdown, an air conditioning system may still malfunction.
As you start the season of running your AC, watch for early warnings of something wrong. Such as hard starting.
What Is Hard Starting?
It’s when an air conditioner draws on more electrical power than normal in order to overcome the resistance to start the compressor. The compressor is the literal heart of the air conditioner, because it’s what puts refrigerant under pressure so it circulates through the rest of the system and carries out heat exchange. No working compressor, no cooling. The compressor motor uses the most electrical power of any part of the system. If the compressor is struggling to start and using more power to do so, then it is hard starting.
The Problem With Hard Starting
You can probably already guess why it’s not good for an AC to hard-start. It drains excess power and puts more strain on the compressor. It may cause the air conditioner to fail or the compressor to burn out. A burnt-out compressor usually means the end of the line for an AC if the compressor isn’t still under warranty.
Hard starting often occurs in older air conditioners. If your AC is more than 10 years old and begins to hard-start, it may mean it’s time to have it replaced. But not necessarily.
The Hard Start Kit
If you have a hard-starting air conditioner, we recommend you call our technicians to look into the problem. Sometimes we’ll find the problem comes from electrical components like failing capacitors, and we can have these parts fixed. But often the best way to solve a hard starting AC is to install a hard start kit. This is a device that provides extra electrical voltage to “jump-start” the compressor and overcome mechanical resistance. A hard start kit can often keep an air conditioner going for a few more years if it’s already more than a decade in service.
We’ll recommend a hard start kit if we think it will help you get several more effective and energy-efficient years from your AC. However, hard start kits aren’t permanent solutions—the AC will still run down and you’ll need to have it replaced.
We are always watching out for our customers’ best interests, so we’ll tell you when the best option is a new AC. We back up our service with our 100% Happiness Guarantee, so you can relax knowing that you’ll receive the best outcome–whether you need a repair for the AC or an entirely new air conditioning system.