When an air conditioner (AC) has trouble starting and staying on, the AC is said to be 'hard starting.' Hard starting interferes with the AC's efficiency and leaves the house in uncomfortable temperatures. Below are some of the reasons an AC might behave that way.

Start Capacitor Failure

The AC motor requires a lot of power to start; the power demands drop once the motor is running. A capacitor is an electrical device that stores power and releases it as needed. Some AC's have start capacitors to provide the needed power to start the motor. Thus, the AC will struggle to start if the capacitor is failing and cannot store adequate power.

Loose Electrical Connections

Hard start problems are usually triggered by electrical issues, and loose electrical connections are some of them. If an electrical connection is loose, a high electrical resistance arises between the connected cables or wires. This leads to a drop in the electricity flowing in the circuit, and the resultant electrical power might not be enough to get the AC running.

Start Relay Malfunction

Some ACs use a start relay to assist the capacitor in its work of starting the AC motor running. The start relay is akin to an electrical switch that uses low-voltage power to switch on the high-voltage power needed for the compressor to run. Thus, the AC will have trouble starting if the relay has malfunctioned.

Seized Compressor

The AC compressor is like a pump that gets the refrigerant moving throughout the system. The compressor uses a motor (a machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy) for this purpose.

A failing or failed motor won't run even if you supply it with adequate electricity. The compressor motor may fail after years of wear and tear or if it is subjected to an electrical overload.

Low Line Voltage

Lastly, low voltage supply may also prevent your AC from starting as it usually does. As you have read above, the AC requires considerable energy to start, and low electricity supply will prevent that from happening.

Various problems can lead to a low voltage supply. Typical causes include loose electrical connections, network or circuit overload, use of wrong wire, and problems at the electricity supply base station, among other issues.

Since there are myriad causes of AC hard starting, the best cause of action is to call an air conditioning repair service such as Northwest  Heating &  Air Conditioning Inc for diagnosis and repair. Electrical problems can trigger a chain of events that might end in costly damages, so don't delay with the diagnosis.