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 expect. For many homeowners, this stress can come to a head when lights flicker after their HVAC system starts to operate.
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 begins, it probably isn’t something to be concerned about.
While it might not feel like it, your home has a certain amount of electricity it can use at any given time. Large appliances—like your HVAC system—need a significant amount of electricity to start up. When those appliances turn on, they use a larger amount of the available electricity. This means the other appliances in your home, like your lights, have a lower amount of power available to them.
If this is the single 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 Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can alleviate the problem.
When should I take action about the flickering lights?
Flickering lights can also indicate a more serious matter. Don’t assess the situation yourself. The problem could be unsafe for you or your home. Call a professional if you see:
- Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that happens 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 consistently 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 may have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
- A circuit breaker trip when you turn on your HVAC. Circuit breakers are a critical part of your home’s electrical system. When they trip and shut off power to an area 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 wise 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 Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 740-474-5940 or arrange an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your household can feel safe in your home.