What do Kickstart® devices
Kickstart® hard start devices utilize a capacitor/relay combination to allow
your air conditioning and heat pump compressors to start with maximum efficiency
thus reaching normal rated speed at up to ten times faster than compressors with
no hard start device installed. During start-up, a typical compressor motor with
no hard start device installed has an electrical efficiency rating (also known
as "power factor") of less than 50%. That means only 50% of the available power
is being utilized to start the unit. Under those conditions, the compressor has
to work much harder and is exposed to a lot of excess heat that is generated
with each and every start. With a Kickstart® device installed, the electrical
efficiency is boosted to over 98% enabling all of the available power
to reach the compressor for smooth, fast starts.
What are the benefits
of having a Kickstart® device
installed on my air conditioning or heat pump compressor?
The two main benefits of installing a Kickstart® hard
start device are:
Life extension of your compressor
By reducing the duration of "inrush" current, Kickstart® hard start devices
minimize the amount of damaging heat that compressor windings are otherwise
subjected to during start-up. Over time, this reduced stress on insulation,
wiring, and other critical components of the compressor has the effect
of increasing its reliability and extending its useful life.
Reduced "light flicker" during compressor
Air conditioning and heat pump compressors (especially those with higher
SEER ratings), often produce the undesirable side effect of "light flicker" when
they start-up. Because the Kickstart® hard start device brings the compressor
to rated speed up to ten times faster than normal, energy consumption
is minimized and noticeable "light flicker" is usually completely eliminated.
If hard start devices
are so important to my compressor, why doesn’t my unit
come with one already installed?
At one time, all single-phase air conditioning, heat pump, and refrigeration
compressors were equipped with hard start devices at the factory. Several years
ago, however, manufacturers decided to discontinue that practice for most air
conditioners and heat pumps in an effort to reduce costs. Refrigeration compressors,
on the other hand, were considered to be so critical to homeowners (due to
potential food spoilage, etc.), that hard start devices continued to be installed
to ensure reliable starts time after time.
Because the average homeowner is unaware of these developments, the makers
of Kickstart® have teamed up with your local hvac service contractor to make
sure you have the information you need to take the best care of your air conditioning
equipment. With a Kickstart® device installed on your air conditioning or heat
pump compressor, you can rest assured that your unit will start reliably with
the least amount of energy consumption and stress each and every time.
What is the life expectancy
of a Kickstart® device?
Since Kickstart® hard start devices are constructed with
high quality components that are used extensively throughout
the industry and approved by major manufacturers,
the average life expectancy is comparable to the life expextancy of those components;
generally 5-7 years or 500,000 starts. All Kickstart® hard start devices currently
come with a two (2) year warranty.
Why should I choose Kickstart®?
Kickstart® is the only hard start device that is patented, U.L. Reconnized
in the U.S. and Canada, and approved by major compressor and equipment manufacturers
for permanent installation. Kickstart® is also the only pre-assembled, 2-wire,
easy-to-install hard start device that utilizes the superior sensing capability
of a potential relay in combination with a start capacitor. Kickstart® devices
work on all single-phase PSC and CSIR air conditioning, heat pump, and refrigeration
compressors (1-5 horsepower; 208V to 265V).