Most things in your home depend 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 anticipate. For many homeowners, this stress can come to a head when lights flicker after their HVAC system starts to kick in.
The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles indicate a serious electrical problem? It depends.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered normal?
If you’re experiencing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC starts, it usually 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 use 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 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 Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll take a look and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can alleviate the problem.
When should I be concerned about flickering lights?
Flickering lights can also signify a more serious matter. Don’t investigate yourself. The problem could be dangerous for you or your home. Call a professional if you experience:
- Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that occurs 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 a problem with your wiring.
- Lights that dim drastically. When you experience normal dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights suddenly drops considerably, you could have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
- A circuit breaker trip when you switch on your HVAC. Circuit breakers are an essential part of your home’s electrical system. When they trip and shut off power to a section of your house (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 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 a good idea to call a technician in to take a look. The team at Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 636-456-5041 or arrange an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your household can feel safe in your home.