Last week we wrote a post about how air conditioning systems can start to trip circuit breakers regularly, and what our technicians can do about them. We’d like to focus on one of those situations in this post, because it’s one of the more common malfunctions that may occur as an air conditioner ages: the hard-starting compressor.
What Is Hard-Starting?
Hard-starting refers to when compressor that struggles to begin its cooling cycle. You’ll often hear the term hard-starting refer to car engines that have trouble turning over, and there are a number of similarities. A compressor uses a motor and it works as a pump responsible for sending refrigerant around the air conditioning system. If the compressor won’t start, the air conditioner simply won’t work.
A compressor will hard-start when it has difficulty overcoming the pressure difference inside it. This can be due to a failing capacitor, trouble with the compressor’s motor, or wear and tear inside the compressor itself.
Why Hard-Starting Is a Serious Problem
Hard-starting creates a combination of problems for an air conditioner. The most immediate one is that it drains high amounts of electrical power, which is why it can sometimes cause the circuit breaker to trip. But there are worse long-term problems, which is that hard-starting places such pressure on the compressor that it will threaten to cause it to burn-out. A burnt-out compressor needs to be replaced, and this is an expensive repair. In fact, when the compressor fails, it’s often more cost-effective to replace the entire air conditioning system.
Fixing a Hard-Starting Compressor
Call our technicians when you notice your compressor fighting to turn on. What we can do is attach a hard-start kit to the compressor. This kit contains a relay and a start capacitor that sends extra voltage to help the compressor overcome the resistance and start faster and easier. However, in cases of extremely old air conditioners, it may be a better plan to replacement the system. Our team will help you make the best choice.
Contact Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. for air conditioning repair service in Wake Forest, NC.