Most things in your home rely on electricity—from charging your electronics 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 air conditioning or heating 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 normal?
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 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 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 tired of the flickering, schedule an appointment with Strine's. We’ll take a look and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can help the problem.
When should I take action about the flickering lights?
Flickering lights can also indicate a more serious matter. Don’t investigate yourself. The problem could be unsafe for you or your home. Contact a professional if you see:
- 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 regularly at any other time—you could have an issue with your wiring.
- Lights that dim drastically. 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 could 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 an area of your home (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from an issue with your circuit. While it could be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s wise 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 a good idea to call a professional in to take a look. The team at Strine's is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 717-383-4479 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.