Lots of things in your home rely on electricity—from charging your phone to keeping the temperature inside where you want it. That’s why it’s infuriating 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 operate.
The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles signify a serious electrical problem? It varies.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered common?
If you’re experiencing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC starts, it likely isn’t something to be stressed about.
While it might not feel like it, your home has a regulated 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, have less power available to them.
If this is the lone issue you are facing, your lights should dim for less than a second and quickly return to full brightness. If you’re done with the flickering, schedule an appointment with Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 indicate a more serious matter. Don’t investigate yourself. The problem could be hazardous for you or your home. Contact 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 continually at any other time—you could have an issue with your wiring.
- Lights that dim significantly. When you experience typical dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights suddenly drops considerably, you might have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
- A circuit breaker trip when you switch on your HVAC. Circuit breakers are a key 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 problem with your circuit. While it could be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s smart to bring a professional in to confirm 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 a technician in to take a look. The team at Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 402-509-5940 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.