Most 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 annoying when electricity in our homes doesn’t work the way we want it to. 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 differs depending on the situation.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered common?
If you’re noticing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC begins, 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, 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 Childress Heating & AC. 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 indicate a more serious matter. Don’t try to figure this out by yourself. The problem could be unsafe for you or your home. Reach out to a professional if you notice:
- Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that happens when there isn’t enough power to support 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 significantly. When you experience usual dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights suddenly drops considerably, you may have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
- A circuit breaker trip when you start 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 home (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from a problem with your circuit. While it might be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s smart 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 safe to call a professional in to take a look. The team at Childress Heating & AC is here to offer you the help you need. When you need us, you can give us a call at 540-675-4306 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.