What’s A Soft Start, And Why Do I Need One?

You may need a soft start if your lights flicker.

A soft start is an electronic regulating device that can be installed inside your Dandelion Geothermal heat pump. Once installed, it reduces the start-up power draw of your heat pump by up to 70%. 

When would I need a soft start?

By nature, compressors require larger amounts of power to start than to run. This start-up power is known as Locked Rotor Amps (LRA): it lasts fractions of a second, drawing enough power to ramp the compressor from idle to full torque before switching to normal operation. Since the electricity in your home is a finite, shared resource, the LRA drawn by a compressor—whether in your refrigerator or in your heat pump—can cause lights to momentarily dim or flicker in some homes. A Soft Start is an optional component that can reduce the LRA up to 70% by gradually stepping up power to the compressor instead of drawing the full LRA all at once.

Some of us have back-up power systems, like generators and whole-home batteries. Many of these back-up power systems, even high-end solutions, will struggle or fail if something tries to draw too much power at one time. To protect your back-up power system and keep your home running, we require a Soft Start with your Dandelion heat pump.

Even if you don’t fall into those categories, a Soft Start can still be helpful. A Soft Start ensures your compressor ramps up more gradually when starting, which brings two key benefits. First, it reduces wear and tear on your compressor, potentially extending the life of your Dandelion Geothermal heat pump system. Second, the initial start-up is quieter. That’s great for everyone!

How do I order a soft start? How is it installed?

If you’re ordering your new Dandelion Geothermal system, ask your sales representative to add a soft start to your order. We’ll install it when we install your new system. 

If your Dandelion Geothermal system is already installed and you’re ready to add a soft start, give us a call at 833-GEO-4ALL or email us at support@dandelionenergy.com. Once your order is processed, we’ll send one of our professional service technicians to your home to install the soft start unit inside your Dandelion Geothermal heat pump cabinet. That’s it!