Lots of things in your home run on electricity—from charging your phone to keeping the temperature inside where you want it. That’s why it’s annoying when electricity in our homes doesn’t work the way we want it to. For many homeowners, this stress can come to a head when lights flicker after their heating and cooling system starts to run.
The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles show a serious electrical problem? It depends.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered usual?
If you’re seeing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC kicks in, it probably isn’t something to be concerned about.
While it might not feel like it, your home has a limited amount of electricity it can use at any given time. Large appliances—like your HVAC system—need a major amount of electricity to start up. When those appliances turn on, they take a larger amount of the available electricity. This means the other appliances in your home, like your lights, don’t have as much power available to them.
If this is the only issue you are facing, your lights should dim for less than a second and quickly return to full brightness. If you’re tired of the flickering, schedule an appointment with Assured Appliance & Heating & Air. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can solve the problem.
When should I worry about flickering lights?
Flickering lights can also indicate a more serious matter. Don’t try to figure this out by yourself. The problem could be unsafe for you or your home. Contact a professional if you experience:
- Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that takes place when there isn’t enough power to keep up with all appliances in your home should last a fraction of a second. If your lights continue to flicker on and off when you start your HVAC system—or regularly at any other time—you could have an issue with your wiring.
- Lights that dim drastically. When you experience typical dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights abruptly drops considerably, you could have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
- A circuit breaker trip when you start your HVAC. Circuit breakers are a critical part of your home’s electrical system. When they trip and shut off power to a section of your space (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from a concern with your circuit. While it could be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s best to bring a professional in to check that there isn’t a more serious problem.
Any time your HVAC system and lights don’t work together, it’s safe to call an expert in to take a look. The team at Assured Appliance & Heating & Air is here to offer you the help you need. When you need us, you can give us a call at 847-306-8990 or arrange an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.