Most things in your home depend on electricity—from charging your electronics 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 expect. For many homeowners, this stress can come to a head when lights flicker after their heating and cooling system starts to operate.
The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles show a serious electrical problem? It differs depending on the situation.
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 probably isn’t something to be concerned 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 substantial amount of electricity to start up. When those appliances turn on, they take a larger amount of the available electricity. This means the other appliances in your home, like your lights, don’t have as much 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 Tri City Fuel & Heating. We’ll take a look 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 indicate a more serious matter. Don’t investigate yourself. The problem could be dangerous for you or your home. Contact a professional if you experience:
- Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that happens 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 consistently at any other time—you could have an issue 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 unexpectedly drops considerably, you might 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 space (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 best to bring a professional in to make sure 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 Tri City Fuel & Heating is here to offer you the help you need. When you need us, you can give us a call at 803-265-4208 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.