Originally Posted by Rivercityjeff
It's the same thing. The "hard start kit" is for air conditioners that are hard to start. Some people call this making them do a soft start. So sure enough, some people call the "hard start kit" a "soft start kit" It is useful when your generator has enough VA to run the air conditioner but not enough to start it unless you get the hard start kit.
not even close to the same thing. a hard start capacitor is just that it is an added capacitor that stores AC voltage and discharges it during the compressor start up. they usually run about 10 bucks.
the "soft start" linked above is not a capacitor but a phased sequence startup managed by a circuit board. it uses the least amount of current during startup and increases it slowly. these are much more expensive usually a few hundred bucks.