Most things in your home depend on electricity—from charging your cellphone 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 HVAC system starts to run.
The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles indicate a serious electrical problem? It differs depending on the situation.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered normal?
If you’re noticing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC starts, it likely isn’t something to be worried 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 use 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 lone 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 Brooks Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can alleviate the problem.
When should I worry about flickering lights?
Flickering lights can also signify a more serious matter. Don’t try to figure this out by yourself. The problem could be hazardous 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 accommodate 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 considerably. When you experience normal dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights unexpectedly 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 home (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from a concern with your circuit. While it may be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s best to bring a professional in to make sure 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 an expert in to take a look. The team at Brooks Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 800-COOLING or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.