Substituting Your AC Capacitor With A Hard Start Kit (Good Or Bad Idea?)

Substituting Your AC Capacitor With A Hard Start Kit

Earlier Air conditioners were equipped with hard start kits, but in later years, HVAC companies chose to discontinue them because of their high cost. However, in recent years hard start kits are experiencing a spike in demand for their numerous advantages.

This article will answer your question on Is Hard Start Kit a Good Substitute for an ac  Capacitor. In addition, we will also explain the AC hard start kit and the benefits of using it with the unit.

What is AC Hard Start Kit?

A hard start kit is simply a capacitor that provides the required amount of energy to boost the air conditioner start-up. It is equipment that accumulates and stores power for initiating air conditioner operation.

Summers create extra pressure on the compressor of the unit. It causes degradation over time, and as a result, your AC starts taking hours to cool even one room. You can install a hard start kit and save yourself from the expensive replacement of the compressor.

First, you need to understand some of the crucial components of an ac, to fully understand the hard start kit and its advantages.


It is a coolant that transforms warm air into cool and comfortable air. The chilled liquid of refrigerant flows through evaporator coils and absorbs moisture and heat from the air. Therefore, it provides a significantly cool indoor temperature.


The compressor is the heart of your air conditioner; without it, the unit can not function. It pressurizes coolant and pushes through the special pipes that form a cold and hot spots circuit.


The evaporator transfers cold air from refrigerant coils to other house parts.


The condenser absorbs excess heat from home and vents out. It maintains the optimum quantity of heat and temperature for optimum AC performance and comfort.

Fans and Blower

Fans and blowers balance the circulation of cool air inside and hot air outside through ducts and vents.

How does AC Hard Start Kit work?

Let’s understand how electrical appliances work to understand the functionality of 

the hard start kit for AC. Most electrical equipment consumes a significant amount of energy at start-up because it takes a lot of power to start the motor and put it into velocity. Once the motor starts, fans and pumps begin spinning. Energy consumption becomes normal during operation.

Compressors are not optimized for handling energy requirements at start-up, and here comes the need for a hard start kit. It is a great sprinter for your unit that can manage power surge with power stored before start.

Advantages of Hard Start Kits for Air Conditioners

Enhance Longevity of the Air Conditioner

Summers can cause extreme pressure on the compressor. It led to damage and degradation over the years, and you might have to change the compressor. With a compressor, several parts are also required to replace.

The cumulative cost will be so high that you can purchase a new unit. The alternate solution is hard to start kits. It will enhance the age of the compressor and the overall longevity of the machine.

Energy and Utility Bills Saver

A malfunctioning compressor takes hours to cool the house because of its deteriorated condition over the years. More hours of AC operation means higher energy consumption and therefore increased power bills.

A hard start kit provides a quick and stable start for the unit and saves energy costs.

Efficient Start-up

A hard start kit stores energy and facilitates easy start-up with minimum energy wastage. You can view this as a helping hand for the compressor for the overall improved efficiency of the air conditioner.

The compressor needs to work hardest at the initial few seconds that cause maximum wear and tear. The hard start kit takes an initial couple of seconds and ensures smooth AC operation.

Conditions to Consider Need of a Hard Start Kit for Air Conditioner

  • If lights at home flutter after switching on the air conditioner, it means the compressor is not working correctly. Observe it and experience fluttering of lights frequently, probably time to install a hard start kit
  • At start-up, if AC is making a strange sound, check the compressor either by yourself or call an expert
  • The Air conditioner won’t switch on or off after a couple of seconds of switch-on.

If you experience these situations in your air conditioner, do not delay because it will only deteriorate the compressor and other components. Call a technician today for professional help.

AC Capacitor and Hard Start Kit: Which one is better?

If your AC is working abnormally while start-up and you require to replace the AC capacitor, either you can install a new Capacitor or a hard start kit to support the compressor.

A hard start kit saves the machine from damages, saves energy at the initial push, and eventually reduces bills. Installation cost with labor is almost similar for AC capacitor and hard start kit.

Hard start kits are perfect solutions for enhanced operational efficiency of the unit and prolonging several years of service. Replace the unit, if your air conditioner is an older model.

An AC Capacitor cost between $5 to $100 depending upon the AC model, brand, operational age. A hard start kit price ranges between $15 to $75. The fees do not cover technician charges.


A hard start kit is a better substitute for a capacitor. It saves energy, utility bills, improves the life of the compressor and machine.

In addition, it is easy to install, and you can try it at home through ‘DIY’ tools. Try it if you have the tools and understanding to install the hard start kit. Installing by yourself can save up to $100 for labor changes.

For expert help, you can consult a professional technician. Installation of AC capacitor and hard start kit is almost similar, and if you can manage one, you can comfortably install the other.

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