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How We Can Fix Your Hard-Starting Compressor

hard start compressor

Our HVAC units are one of the hardest working appliances in our homes. Day and night, we rely on them to run highly efficient heating and cooling cycles, maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures year-round. Even with regular A/C tune-ups and diligent maintenance, the wear and tear of regular use can lead to problems like a hard-starting compressor. Read on to learn more about this issue and how we can fix your hard-starting compressor with AC repair Ashburn homeowners can rely on. 

Looking for professional air conditioning service, Ashburn, VA local? The team at Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air is ready to help. Give us a ring at (703) 645-4528 or visit us online to book services today.  

What Does an A/C Compressor Do?

Your HVAC unit’s compressor is one of its most important components. Located in the outdoor portion of your system, the compressor is responsible for changing refrigerant from a liquid to a gaseous state and then circulating it through the unit. This essential process is what makes your air conditioner function in the first place. A faulty compressor is an expensive repair, often to the point that it can be more cost effective to replace the entire A/C unit, especially if it’s more than 12–15 years old.   

What is a Hard-Starting Compressor?

A hard-starting A/C compressor can be likened to a car engine that has trouble turning over in the winter. When it comes to your A/C compressor, however, hard-starting often occurs when the compressor has difficulty overcoming the initial pressure inside of it. While your unit can continue to run with a hard-starting compressor, it drains an enormous amount of energy each time it tries to kick on. This can increase utility costs, decrease cooling efficiency and eventually cause a complete system breakdown.    

Hard-Starting Compressor Warning Signs

A hard-starting compressor will make noise as it struggles to turn on and stay on. You’ll likely also notice a decrease in cooling efficiency in your home, alongside an uptick in utility costs. Other signs to look out for include a frequently tripped circuit breaker, rattling noises and clicking or ticking sounds. If the only trouble lies with your compressor, preventative measures can be taken to extend the life of your unit. On the other hand, a new HVAC unit might be a better investment if your existing A/C is on the fritz. This may be the case if, in addition to a hard-starting compressor, you notice the following signs of an aging unit:

  • Your unit requires frequent or extensive repairs.
  • Steadily rising utility costs. 
  • New or louder operational noises.
  • The unit no longer cools your home efficiently.
  • Moisture issues or higher humidity levels than usual in your home.
  • Bad odors when the unit runs a cycle.
  • Weak airflow, even after performing regular maintenance.
  • Your unit is older than 15 years.

A hard-starting compressor may not seem like a big deal, but it’s wise to call a professional as soon as you notice problems. By drawing so much additional electricity to achieve start-up, your compressor will eventually burn itself out. It’s important to note that a broken compressor often means the entire HVAC unit needs to be replaced, and this scenario should be avoided as far as possible. Don’t delay in calling for AC repair, Ashburn, VA homeowner. Our team can help diagnose the root problem, prevent costly breakdowns and extend the life of your unit.  

Hard-Starting Compressor Fixes

Several factors can contribute to a hard-starting compressor. In the event of a failing start capacitor, our team can replace this component before your compressor fails. In the event of an aging compressor, we can attach a hard-start kit to your unit. A hard-start kit is an energy-storing device that contains a relay and start capacitor. The kit sends additional voltage to the compressor to help it overcome its initial resistance and start appropriately. This fix can help your unit start quickly and smoothly, extend the life of your air conditioner and negate the need for expensive repairs or a full-on unit replacement. In some cases, however, the best option is to simply update an old unit. 

Cooling systems last 12–15 years on average (or up to 20 years with diligent maintenance). If your unit is more than 15 years old, it might be time to invest in an upgrade. One of our highly-skilled team members can evaluate your situation and recommend the best course of action for your needs and budget. Here at Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air, we’re proud to offer interest-free financing options to help cover those unexpected costs. When you work with our team, you can rely on transparent, upfront pricing and honest evaluations from fully trained, licensed and insured HVAC professionals.    

Best Air Conditioning Service, Ashburn, VA

Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air is a family-owned and operated business serving Sterling, Alexandria, Gainesville and the surrounding areas. Our team specializes in HVAC services, plumbing services and gas services, and we guarantee all our workmanship and extended warranties. Cardinal is an award-winning Better Business Bureau accredited company that keeps customer service top of mind. When you schedule HVAC or plumbing services with one of our pro technicians, you’ll receive text updates with a photo and detailed information of who to expect. We’ll also provide tracking information and real-time scheduling updates, so you’ll know exactly when our team members will arrive to perform services at your home. In the event that a homeowner is not present once the work is completed, our technicians will provide photos and detailed information of all repair work done.

Do you need AC repair services fast? We’re proud to offer emergency HVAC and plumbing repairs, as well as same day service with a 100% satisfaction guarantee to all our customers. Give our team a call at (703) 645-4527 or contact us online to schedule your visit with an HVAC pro from Cardinal today. 


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