Question: I was told to install a Hard Start Kit on my AC System. What is it and why do I need a Hard Start Kit?

Answer: Before we explain a Hard Start Kit, let’s take a step back and explain where the kit is installed and why it’s needed. A “Split System” Air Conditioning System consists of two (2) main components: A Condensing Section and an Air Handler Section. The Condensing Section is typically installed outside the home and the Air Handler is installed inside the home, either in the attic or in a closet.

Now, let’s focus on the Condensing Section. The Condensing Section consists of a Compressor, a Condensing Coil, a Fan/Motor Assembly and the electrical components that control the entire Condensing Section. The most expensive component within the Condensing Section is the Compressor.

It takes a good deal of energy to start a compressor. (If the compressor fails to start, you have no Air Conditioning.) When a compressor starts up, it draws a large amperage load, which can put strain on the compressor’s internal “windings” and possibly shorten the life of the compressor.

Now back to the Hard Start Kit. A Hard Start Kit contains two (2) electrical components: A Relay and a Capacitor. The Capacitor stores an electrical charge, almost like a battery backup. When your home’s thermostat calls for cooling, the Relay “pulls in” to compete the circuit for a split second to allow the charge stored in the Capacitor to “kickstart” the compressor. This process is more efficient and extends the life of the compressor. An average compressor replacement can cost between $1,500 and $3,000. A Hard Start Kit can help protect your investment – and prevent any untimely AC System failures – as well as save money on your energy bill.

Some AC System manufacturers include a Hard Start Kit with new systems. Others do not. As with any equipment or machinery, preventative maintenance is the key to long AC System life and optimum performance. We at AC Today recommend that you install a Hard Start Kit if your AC System did not come with a Kit already installed.

With an AC Today Maintenance Program, your AC Today First Responder will regularly inspect your AC System, including your Condensing Section’s starting components, and replace components before they cause your system to fail. Your ACT First Responder also carries a wide range of Hard Start Kits so that you can have your Hard Start Kit installed the First Time, Every Time.

Let AC Today keep you ahead of any AC System failures with our award-winning customized Maintenance Program.  Call us today for more information or stop by our headquarters to speak with our Maintenance Program Specialists!