What Is A Hard Start Kit?

A hard start kit, also called a compressor saver, is a capacitor which is an electrical component installed in your air conditioner if the compressor is compromised. The compressor's job is to turn on whenever cooling is required. However, AC compressors tend to degrade in harsh summer seasons because the heat often becomes incredibly demanding at times. The issue can be resolved by replacing the compressor altogether or investing in a hard start kit. People choose the latter option because it is much more economical.

A hard start kit works through a combination of a capacitor and a potential relay or PTC (positive temperature coefficient) thermistor, providing a strong starting torque to help reduce strain due to excessive inrush current upon the compressors' start-up.

Benefits Of A Hard Start Kit:

Investing in a hard start kit is a good idea. Here are some reasons why you should be considering one for your unit:

1. Prolong The Life Of The AC

A degraded compressor calls for a replacement. Although, at that point, it is recommended to replace it, installing a hard start kit can save you money and prolong the life of the compressor and the AC as a whole. It will assist the compressor during hard starts, reducing the strain on the compressor windings and helping to extend the life.

2. Lower Utility Bills

If the compressor of your AC unit is not working at its peak, it uses more energy to generate the same amount of cool air, resulting in increased utility bills. Installing a hard start kit in the AC can counter this issue and keep energy usage more stable. This is because it helps the compressor start efficiently by reducing start-up inrush current and using less energy.

3. Improves Efficiency

A hard start kit works as a helping hand for a degraded compressor that has difficulty starting. It improves the efficiency of the AC by enabling the compressor to turn on faster and reducing wear and tear on other AC components.

4. Protects Other Electrical Devices

If your unit’s compressor is compromised, it requires more energy than usual which can often take a toll on other electrical appliances in your facility. But if you have a hard kit installed, every time your AC starts, the kit will help avoid the current shortage on your other electrical devices.

Types Of An AC Hard Start Kits:

- Mechanical Potential Relay Hard Start Kit

This is one of the most common hard start kits. When the AC compressor is working on approximately 75% to 80% of its full operating speed, a mechanical potential relay hard start kit uses a potential relay to remove the start capacitor on the circuit. It works when the compressor’s rotor generates the back EMF (electro-motive force) to open the relay to take the start capacitor from the start circuit. Once the compressor ceases to operate, it is already ready for the next cycle; no time for cool-down is needed.

- PTC Hard Start Kits

These hard start kits use a ceramic element to remove the start capacitor from the circuit upon unit start-up instead of using a potential relay. Unlike the first type, the ceramic element heats up to 250 degrees, opens the circuit, and takes the start capacitor out. But because of the tremendous amount of heat generated, PTC hard start devices need downtime to cool down for 2 to 3 minutes before being effectively used again.

Signs You Might Need A Hard Start Kit

Hard start kits are not permanent solutions. These devices might keep your air conditioner running at its standard performance, but eventually, you would have to replace your aging system. In fact, if your AC is more than 15 years old, an experienced HVAC technician will probably tell you that installing a hard start kit isn’t worth it. But here are some signs that indicate that your unit needs a hard start kit.

  • Flickering Lights: If you see lights flickering when you turn on the AC's compressor quite oftenly, the compressor might not be working as designed.
  • Unusual Noises From The Unit - Compromised compressors struggle to start and make abnormal noises. If you experience any strange noises from your AC, it is advisable to get your AC unit inspected.
  • AC Unit Turns Off Automatically - In many cases, if the unit's compressor has issues, it turns off right after you turn it on.

Buy A Hard Start Kit For Your Unit

You can give us a call at (877) 776-8228 or contact us online to schedule an inspection for your AC unit. We’ll send one of our certified technicians to visit your facility and install a hard start kit for your air conditioner.

ProServices Supply has extensive experience in delivering maintenance and repair services along with operational equipment and supplies to businesses, enabling them to serve their customers in a better way.

Browse through our extensive range of hard start kits from some of the well-reputed brands available in the market today, all under one roof!

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