Hard start kits used to be a standard feature of nearly every air conditioning unit, but in recent years, manufacturers have eliminated them in an effort to cut down on production costs. Hard start kits are now one of the most popular aftermarket accessories for air conditioners. If you’re wondering if an AC hard start kit is right for your needs, there are a few factors to consider. Though they offer a range of benefits, they can also be detrimental if they are used or installed incorrectly. If you want to take advantage of the benefits that a hard start capacitor can offer, it’s important to understand how to use it properly — and, more importantly, invest in the professional installation by an HVAC professional.
What Is a Hard Start Kit?
An AC hard start kit is used to power up an air conditioner unit that may otherwise have difficulty turning on. This difficulty can arise for many reasons, but one of the most common causes is a compressor that’s become worn out over time. When this happens, it may struggle to power on, but a hard start kit can help resolve the issue. An AC hard start kit consists of two parts that work in conjunction to achieve this — the hard start capacitor and the potential relay. The capacitor works by storing energy within the unit and shortens the time your unit requires to start. This, in turn, reduces the amount of electrical energy that the startup requires, too. With minimized pressure placed on the compressor, your unit will be able to power on with no problem.
What Are the Advantages of a Hard Start Kit?
Helping a troubled unit power on more easily is just one of the benefits of a hard start kit. Prior to installing a hard start kit, you might have considered replacing your compressor, but a hard start kit is often easier and more affordable! There are many other advantages you can enjoy when you install an AC hard start kit in your AC unit — and some people opt to install one even if their unit doesn’t have any compressor issues. A hard start capacitor is particularly beneficial because it can improve your air conditioner’s overall functionality and efficiency. Consider these other benefits that you can enjoy when you add an AC hard start kit to your air conditioning unit.
Extends Compressor Lifetime
One of the most common motivations for installing a hard start kit is preserving the compressor of an AC unit. A compressor can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 to replace, whereas it typically costs less than $400 to install a hard start kit. This makes it clearly worthwhile to invest in a hard start kit and extend the lifetime of your compressor for as long as possible. An AC hard start kit can protect your compressor by minimizing the wear and tear that it endures during your unit’s startup process. The hard start capacitor handles the brunt of the action and enables your compressor to last much longer than it otherwise would.
Assists With Low Voltage Problems or Improper Wiring
A worse-for-wear compressor isn’t the only problem that a hard start kit can help to address. If your AC unit struggles to power on due to low voltage or improper wiring, an AC hard start kit can provide a solution to these problems, too. Sometimes a compressor is in perfectly fine condition, but it simply does not supply enough voltage to start the unit in a timely manner. Similarly, you might have a unit in acceptable condition, but a matter of faulty wiring prevents it from starting consistently. In both of these cases, a hard start kit can be used to ensure your unit’s ability to power on. It can do so by providing the unit with power that’s stored within the hard start capacitor.
Provides Better Energy Efficiency
Did you know that a hard start kit can also improve your AC unit’s energy efficiency? Indeed, this is one of the most attractive advantages it offers! A compressor that’s deteriorated over time will have difficulty starting, and it will also draw more power as it struggles to start. More power means lower energy efficiency — and higher power bills. Installing an AC hard start kit can help you avoid this outcome by minimizing the power that’s used during your unit’s power-on process. This improvement in energy efficiency also minimizes the stress placed on the rest of the unit, which can extend its lifespan substantially.
Allows You to Avoid Compressor Replacement
Compressor replacement is often considered to be the last resort for several reasons. The high aforementioned cost is one of these reasons, but it’s also generally a laborious process, and in some cases, it’s not worth the cost and effort. If you need to replace your AC unit’s compressor, you may need to simply replace the entire air conditioner — especially if it is aging and other parts are failing, too. Installing an AC hard start kit can help you avoid this problem altogether, though, by extending the lifespan of your existing compressor. With less pressure and wear placed on the compressor, it’s less likely to fail, and you can continue enjoying your air conditioner without worrying about the cost or inconvenience of installing a new compressor.
Professional HVAC Services in Phoenix
Hard start kits are a great resource for improving the efficiency and function of your HVAC unit — but investing in professional HVAC services is the best way to prolong the lifespan of your air conditioner. Whether you’re dealing with a faulty compressor or issues with another part, you can trust a technician from Howard Air Conditioning to assess, address, and resolve the problem. We specialize in AC hard start kit installation in addition to services such as air purification, air vent cleaning, and general HVAC maintenance. Commercial and residential clients throughout the Phoenix valley area trust us for their air conditioning needs. For more information, you can call us at (480) 648-0055 or reach out to us online.
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