You’re probably familiar with a car that’s hard starting. Think of a winter day when it takes a few tries for the motor in your vehicle to finally turn over, making a real struggle to get the “juice” it needs to come to life.
The same problem can occur in a central air conditioning system. A powerful motor runs the compressor that’s at the heart of the AC. Sometimes, this motor will have trouble getting started because it’s not drawing enough voltage or it can’t overcome resistance. The same way you don’t want a car to hard start, you don’t want an AC to hard start either. It means too much stress put on the compressor motor and may eventually lead to this vital part of the system burning out. Replacing a compressor is expensive, and often it’s better to put in a completely new AC system (new outdoor condenser and indoor evaporator coil) than get a new compressor.