Even though your air conditioner is designed to last for many years, the capacitor or hard start kit could be the culprit if the AC won't turn on. Your air conditioner relies heavily on this despite its diminutive size. So now, you're wondering how long a hard start kit lasts. We are also curious about it, so we researched the internet to find the answer.
Hard start kits, like all other things, have a finite lifespan. Although they can last for years or even decades, some things force them to wear out sooner.
Aside from knowing how long a hard start kit lasts, it would be best to learn how it works, its advantages, if it needs professional installation and more. And to do that, we suggest you keep reading. Doing so might also answer some of your additional questions about hard start kits. Enjoy reading!
How Does A Hard Start Kit Function?
You may not know that electric appliances and equipment frequently require more power to start than they do while running. It is because accelerating a motor from a standstill to its desired velocity consumes a substantial amount of electricity. In this situation, an electric appliance could consume up to eight times more energy than normal operation consumes.
For example, when the fans and pumps of your air conditioner are already operating at high speeds, it is relatively straightforward. It uses very little additional energy to maintain such speeds.
Many compressors have run capacitors but can't withstand the additional electrical load initially. Put simply, it is like ordinary capacitors are marathon runners but lousy sprinters. But with the air conditioner hard start kits, they can manage the startup energy surge without an effort.
Furthermore, hard start kits can nearly immediately get the compressor motor working at its superior speed by reserving an increased voltage in advance. Long-term operation isn't a concern for the air conditioner's compressor or your standard capacitor.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Hard Start Kits
Depending on the thermostat settings or the weather conditions outdoors, the compressor can switch on and off multiple times daily. And you may not know it, but your HVAC may have restarted over 10,000 times after several years of its operation. The following are some of the benefits of keeping a hard start kit in your air conditioner:
1. Extends The Lifespan Of The Compressor
To put it another way, the more energy a compressor consumes, the hotter it becomes during operation. The motor's wire coils could burn down because of the extreme heat.
Fortunately, utilizing a hard start kit could reduce the heat generated at the beginning, resulting in extended compressor life. As a result, even on brand-new air conditioners, many manufacturers advise adding a hard start kit.
2. Helps With Improper Wiring or Low Voltage Issues
Wiring systems may be less than flawless if your house is older or construction procedures differ. Damaged or faulty wiring can hinder the air conditioner starter, which might cause a lack of power when turning on. This kind of low voltage issue is an easy fix with the help of a hard start kit.
3. Improves Energy Efficiency
Even the most energy-efficient HVAC systems use more electricity during startup when the compressor runs. Hard start kits save electricity because of their high efficiency (up to 98 percent) and lower demand.
4. Prevents Compressor Replacement
Compressors for the HVAC system are among the most costly components. In cases where electrical problems are at fault, a hard start kit might help maintain the proper operation of the compressor while searching for a more permanent solution. It can save you up to $1,000.
How To Tell If The Air Conditioner Has Starting Trouble
If you notice any of the following symptoms, it might be time to incorporate a hard start kit:
1. Tripped Circuit Breaker Because Of Air Conditioner
A wearing-out compressor is probably the reason for this issue. Ensure your motor has enough energy to start the compressor to prevent your home's circuit breakers from tripping.
2. Flickering Lights From The Air Conditioner
When you turn on electrical appliances, it is usual to see a minor flickering of lights on them. However, if your air conditioner's lighting or power levels vary drastically, there may be an issue. And using a hard start kit can reduce the amount of electricity consumed by an HVAC compressor.
3. Air Conditioner Experiences Short Cycling
A typical cooling cycle lasts roughly 15-20 minutes, and this depends on two factors:
- the outdoor temperature
- whether you have a single-stage or variable-speed HVAC system
If you noticed that your air conditioner only runs for short periods, then we are confident it is short cycling. And such a situation can indicate that the system is under too much energy stress. And most of the time, a hard start kit is the solution to an electrical problem in an air conditioner.
4. Air Conditioner Produces Clicking Noises
Clicking noises may be an issue of malfunctioning:
In some cases, the problem is with the air conditioner part, while in others, it lacks power. Professional HVAC technicians can recognize the difference and may suggest utilizing a hard start kit to help with electricity issues.
5. Air Conditioner Produces Humming Noises
If the motor of your air conditioner's compressor is making an electrical hum every time you run it, it may be because it doesn't get enough supply of electricity. Electrical current can damage the compressor or other systems if it persists for an extended period. It is because it can produce excessive heat.
If you think it is because of electrical issues, it would be best to call for an HVAC professional's help immediately. Taking action sooner will reduce the risk of additional damage to your air conditioning system.
Check this video to learn how to install a hard start kit:
Are Hard Start Kits A Long-Term Solution
As mentioned, high-quality hard start kits can last for many years, if not decades. Many HVAC systems work better with a hard start kit installed from the start. You'll save money right away, and your compressor will be well-protected. These kits are inexpensive and frequently pay for themselves in the short period it takes to complete them.
You may have already had an issue with your heating and air conditioning system. When it comes to selecting whether or not to put a repair kit on a compressor that has been broken, things aren't as simple as black and white. On the other hand, hard start kits can significantly impact and revive the system if a lack of power causes the problem.
Furthermore, a hard start kit can help extend an HVAC compressor's lifespan. However, some homeowners prefer to replace the entire system. But remember that you can always opt to call for an HVAC professional's help.
Do You Need Professional Hard Start Kit Installation
Even if installing a hard start kit isn't difficult, it would be best to call an HVAC professional to avoid mistakes that may produce potential air conditioner damage.
When hiring an HVAC professional to do the job for you, these are the things that they can ensure having:
- They can find the right hard start kit size
- Professionals can select the best hard start kit for your air conditioner model
- They can detect the real issues with your air conditioner
- Aside from hard start kits, they can suggest additional long-term solutions for other detected problems
Investing in an air conditioner hard start kit to protect your compressor is smart. A well-functioning HVAC system means you and your family can enjoy a comfortable indoor environment all year round.
In addition, if your compressor is making weird noises or you have power issues, you should take immediate action to avoid further damage and keep your family comfortable.
Wrap It All Up
As we have discussed earlier, incorporating a hard start kit for your air conditioner can help significantly.
Most older single-phase air conditioners used to come with a built-in hard start kit. However, this is no longer the case with many latest air conditioner models. Consider having an HVAC specialist install a hard start kit if your air conditioner does not have one.
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