Many things in your home rely on electricity—from charging your electronics to keeping the temperature inside where you want it. That’s why it’s frustrating when electricity in our homes doesn’t work the way we expect. 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 normal?
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 worried 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 consume 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 irritated by the flickering, schedule an appointment with Dave's Diversified Services. We’ll assess the situation and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can help the problem.
When should I take action about the flickering lights?
Flickering lights can also signify a more serious matter. Don’t assess the situation yourself. The problem could be hazardous for you or your home. Reach out to a professional if you see:
- 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 significantly. When you experience normal 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 turn on your HVAC. Circuit breakers are an essential part of your home’s electrical system. When they trip and shut off power to a part of your space (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from a concern with your circuit. While it might be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s wise 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 not a bad idea to call an expert in to take a look. The team at Dave's Diversified Services is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 540-636-3396 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.