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“What Does It Mean for My AC to ‘Hard Start’?”

technician-hands-working-on-ac-outdoor-unitHave you ever experienced your car struggling to start on a cold day? Maybe the engine grinds for a few minutes, or takes a few times before it turns over. This is just one example of “hard starting.” It can actually happen to any type of equipment that uses a motor, whether it’s powered be petroleum, electricity, or natural gas.

Hard starting is an issue that you may even encounter with your cooling system. Although a hard-starting air conditioner can continue to operate and provide cool air into your home, it’s not good for the system, draining excess power and exacerbating wear and tear. Eventually, it could even lead to the premature demise of your air conditioner. Since we may still need our air conditioners for a few more weeks or so, this is definitely an issue you want to be addressed by a professional. Read on to learn more about this issue!

What’s Going On When an AC Hard Starts

A cooling system does not work the same way a car does, in spite of our comparison above. It can be said to have an equivalent to the car’s engine though–in an air conditioner, this would be the compressor. This is the most important component of your air conditioner, often referred to as the “heart” of the system. It’s in the outdoor AC cabinet, and it puts refrigerant under high pressure (condenses it), in order for it to circulate through the indoor and outdoor coils to move heat out of the home. The motor running the compressor is the most powerful motor in the air conditioner. In a properly functioning cooling system, you’ll hear a familiar hum whenever the air conditioner enters a cooling cycle.

When an air conditioner is hard-starting, what’s happening is that the compressor is struggling to come on, and stay running. There are a couple of different potential causes for this. The electric capacitors that send voltage to the compressor’s motor might be failing, or it can be that the compressor has lost lubrication. These are natural parts of wear and tear, but in an aging system (10-15 years old) can even be the sign of an air conditioner that’s just about ready to be upgraded.

Regardless of what is to blame, you want trained and experienced professionals to look into your hard-starting system ASAP. Hard starting puts a lot of undue strain on the compressor. This is harmful to the air conditioner and causes it to drain more power. This means you’ll be paying more in your electrical bills. Also, the compressor itself can burn out. Like we said above, the compressor is essentially the heart of your air conditioner. If it fails, it almost always means that you have to replace the entire air conditioner.

Don’t let this be your cooling system’s fate! As soon as you notice hard-starting, please give our team a call for expert services.

Contact Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. today! We take your comfort as serious as you do. We’ll take care of your Bellevue, WA air conditioning needs and more.

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