Most things in your home rely on electricity—from charging your cell 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 run.
The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles signify a serious electrical problem? It depends.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered usual?
If you’re experiencing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC begins, it probably isn’t something to be stressed 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 substantial 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 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 Wallpe Heating & Cooling. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can help the problem.
When should I be concerned about flickering lights?
Flickering lights can also signify a more serious matter. Don’t assess the situation yourself. The problem could be dangerous for you or your home. Call a professional if you notice:
- 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 continually at any other time—you could have a problem with your wiring.
- Lights that dim considerably. 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 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 house (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from an issue 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 check that 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 Wallpe Heating & Cooling is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 812-663-7252 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.