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ServiceMax Blog

Fixing a Hard-Starting Compressor in an Air Conditioner

The hardest-working part of your air conditioning system is the compressor. You’re probably familiar with the sound it makes—it’s the whirring noise that you hear each time the AC starts the cooling cycle—and it’s essential for providing the comfortable environment in your home during hot days. The compressor is a pump that places refrigerant under pressure to turn it into a hot gas so it will circulate through the system, moving heat from the inside to the outside. Basically, if you don’t have a working compressor, you don’t have an air conditioner.

The hard-starting compressor

The wear and tear on the compressor in an AC can lead to it have difficulty starting up. The compressor must overcome a large pressure difference when it starts, and this takes a large amount of power. The compressor will “hard-start” when it struggles to turn on and draws excess amps of electricity from the start capacitor that stores energy. This can sometimes lead to the air conditioner causing a circuit breaker to trip. Even if the compressor manages to turn on, the AC will work at poor energy efficiency and the additional strain will shorten the system life and lead to component failure.

The hard-start kit

If your AC is hard-starting, you must contact HVAC professionals. In cases of an extremely old AC, it may be best to have the system replaced. But in other cases, the technicians can solve the problem by installing a hard-start kit to the compressor.

What a hard-start kit does is allow the compressor to start up faster while drawing on less electrical power. It provides the energy necessary to start the compressor while bypassing the standard start capacitor. If correctly installed, a hard-start kit will help your AC perform at higher efficiency—and with much less wear and tear that will lead to an early replacement.

Call on Malek Heating & Cooling for air conditioning repair in Wilmette, IL.

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