Lots of things in your home run on electricity—from charging your phone 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 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 usual?
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 significant 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 single 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 AC Sales. We’ll assess the situation 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 signify a more serious matter. Don’t try to figure this out by yourself. The problem could be hazardous for you or your home. Call a professional if you notice:
- Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that occurs 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 continually at any other time—you could have a challenge 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 unexpectedly drops considerably, you might 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 key 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 problem 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 confirm there isn’t a more serious problem.
Any time your HVAC system and lights don’t work together, it’s safe to call an expert in to take a look. The team at AC Sales is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at (337) 234-2345 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your household can feel safe in your home.