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 expect. For many homeowners, this stress can come to a head when lights flicker after their heating and cooling 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 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 limited 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 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 done with the flickering, schedule an appointment with Rescue Heating & Air. We’ll assess the situation 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 unsafe 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 consistently 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 suddenly 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 an essential 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 could 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 not a bad idea to call an expert in to take a look. The team at Rescue Heating & Air is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 361-265-4371 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.