Most things in your home depend 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 expect. 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 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 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 significant 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, 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 tired of the flickering, schedule an appointment with Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc.. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can solve the problem.
When should I take action about the 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. Reach out to a professional if you see:
- 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 a problem with your wiring.
- Lights that dim considerably. When you experience normal 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 an essential part of your home’s electrical system. When they trip and shut off power to an area of your space (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from a concern 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 a good idea to call a technician in to take a look. The team at Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. is here to provide support. 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 your family can feel safe in your home.