What is a Start Assist Kit? An Important Air Conditioner Tool

A Start Assist Kit goes by many names. You may have seen it referred to as a Hard Start Kit or a Compressor Saver. No matter what you call it, a Start Assist Kit is an electrical tool that attaches to the condensing unit of your air conditioner. The extra voltage allows the compressor to start up faster, while using less energy. This can help you save money on your monthly utility bills, prolong the lifespan of the compressor, and more.

Here are the top four benefits of a Start Assist Kit.

1.      Protects the “heart” of your air conditioner

The compressor is essentially the “heart” of your air conditioner. Its job is to circulate and apply energy to the refrigerant that flows through the coils of the indoor and outdoor unit. If the compressor is compromised for any reason, the air conditioner won’t function—leaving you without the cool air you want.

Replacing a compressor is very expensive, so it’s best to keep it in good working order for as long as possible. A Start Assist Kit reduces internal damage to the compressor by helping it start smoothly and efficiently.

2.      Prevents hard starting

Hard starting refers to a scenario where the motors and the compressor of an air conditioner have trouble turning on and staying on. Hard starting can lead to short cycling, where the compressor runs for only a short amount of time before shutting off, failing to complete a cooling cycle. Short cycling is a huge energy waste and can prevent your home from ever reaching a comfortable temperature. You’ll likely see the impact of short cycling in the form of higher monthly electric bills.

Hard starting normally occurs due to predictable wear and tear over time. In addition to normal wear and tear, the unforgiving Arizona summers make matters worse by putting a lot of strain on your compressor. This strain makes it more likely that the compressor will overheat and fail completely due to hard starting. With the help of a Start Assist Kit, you can avoid a total system breakdown and rest easy knowing that your compressor is safe from hard starting.

3.      Uses less energy

If you’ve ever balked at your summer electric bills, it’s important to know that energy saving tactics can go a long way. Your air conditioner uses approximately 5 to 10 times more energy during startup than it does while running. Needless to say, it takes a lot of energy for an air conditioner to startup, which is why you may hear a whirling or “takeoff” noise at the start of a cooling cycle. This is the result of many moving parts coming together and working at once. When temperatures are high, your air conditioner can start to suffer from the strain of turning on, then off, then back on again throughout the day.

With a Start Assist Kit, your air conditioner won’t have to use as much energy during the startup process. Think of a Start Assist Kit as a jolt of caffeine that gives your air conditioner the boost it needs, without having to work as hard. Less energy usage means lower electric bills, even in the hottest months.

4.      Extends your air conditioners lifespan

Compressor problems are one of the most common issues that lead to air conditioners being replaced long before their lifespan is up. As mentioned earlier, the compressor is the “heart” of the air conditioner. Without it, there’s no way for the system to function, because of the vital role that the compressor plays in the cooling process. Replacing a compressor is very expensive. So expensive, in fact, that replacing the air conditioner altogether is generally more cost-effective. Along with regular preventative maintenance, a Start Assist Kit can ensure that your air conditioner stays in good working order for years to come.

When it’s time to upgrade

A Start Assist Kit is a great solution to hard starting, short cycling, and high energy usage. But, it’s not a permanent fix. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, upgrading to a newer, more efficient system may be a better decision in the long run.

While there’s a significant upfront cost, you may end up saving money by replacing your system. It all comes down to the 5,000 rule. Take the age of your air conditioner and multiply it by the amount you’ve spent on recent air conditioner repairs. If the number is more than $5,000, you should consider replacing the air conditioner. For example, a 12-year-old unit with an $500 repair comes out to $6,000, showing that replacement is more cost effective.

What a Start Assist Kit can’t do

A Start Assist Kit isn’t right for every air conditioner, and it’s not a one size fits all solution for every problem. In fact, A Start Assist Kit is more of a tool for preventing problems in the first place. For example, it won’t help if your air conditioning problems are due to things like refrigerant leaks, a frozen evaporator coil, or an oversized unit. But, if you’re looking to avoid problems like long term compressor damage, a Start Assist Kit is the answer.

Trust the Chas Roberts AC Protection Package to protect your air conditioner

When it comes down to it, you can’t put a price on peace of mind. With the Chas Roberts AC Protection Package, you can avoid expensive repairs and damage from unforeseen issues. We offer a Start Assist Kit as part of our AC Protection Package, along with other products designed to protect your home, prolong the life of your system, and protect your equipment. This cost-effective package could be the difference between an air conditioner that runs smoothly and a costly breakdown. In each AC Protection Package, you’ll receive:

  • A Start Assist Kit to prolong the life of your compressor
  • A Drain Alert to shut off your equipment in the event of a drain line backup
  • A Surge Protector to keep your air conditioner safe from large electrical surges

Contact us to take advantage of our AC Protection Package Offer, or to get answers to any of your HVAC questions.