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Serving Courtenay, BC and Surrounding Areas


Temprite Climate Solutions Blog

Hard-Starting: What It Is and How It Affects Your AC

Outdoor home AC condenser with clipping path. Isolated on white.

In this post, we’re going to look at one of the common troubles that can affect an air conditioning system: hard starting. If you notice your air conditioner is hard starting, your best course is to call our technicians for air conditioning repair in Campbell River, BC. We’re familiar with the different ways that hard starting can happen in an AC as well as the best ways to address the problem. 

What Is Hard Starting?

Hard starting refers to a condition where an air conditioner struggled to start up its cooling cycle. The component that’s having trouble getting started is the compressor motor. The compressor is perhaps the most important part of an air conditioner because it’s responsible for the circulation of refrigerant and the refrigerant changing from a cool liquid into a hot, high-pressure gas. Hard starting is similar to a car engine having trouble turning over: the car may eventually start to work, but it takes extra energy to get there and it places extra strain on the motor.

Hard starting is a problem on its own because of the energy it drains and the extra wear and tear it creates. But it’s also a symptom of another problem with the compressor or related components. This is why it’s important to call for technicians to check on your AC when it hard starts: you not only want the hard starting to end, you need to know if there’s an even bigger problem causing it.

What Can Cause Hard Starting?

There are several potential causes for a hard starting AC:

  • Failing capacitors: Capacitors are the electrical components that temporarily store electricity before sending it to a motor. A compressor has two different types of capacitors: run capacitors and start capacitors. The start capacitor is responsible for sending the initial voltage that allows the compressor motor to overcome resistance and start running. If the capacitor starts to fail (and capacitors often fail before an AC does), it won’t be able to deliver enough power to get the compressor motor to start. This is usually easy to fix—technicians simply replace the capacitor.
  • Lack of lubrication: The compressor itself may have become “tight,” meaning its parts are resistant to movement, forcing the motor to work harder to overcome it. This is often due to lack of lubrication on the compressor, which is a common problem that can start if the AC doesn’t receive regular maintenance. You’ll need to have technicians lubricate the compressor before its motor burns out.
  • Aging compressor: If you have an AC that’s getting close to the end of its estimated service life (usually between 10–15 years), hard starting is often a sign that the compressor is too worn down to keep working. At this point, it’s better to have the air conditioner replaced. Soon, the compressor will fail on its own and you’ll be forced to replace the AC anyway.

Our technicians can find the best way to fix your hard starting air conditioner, such as replacing capacitors or installing a hard start kit that gives the compressor motor an extra “kick” to help it get started. 

All you have to do is contact Temprite Climate Solutions. For a job done right, call Temprite!

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