Most things in your home depend on electricity—from charging your cellphone 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 kick in.
The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles indicate a serious electrical problem? It depends.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered common?
If you’re seeing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC kicks in, it usually isn’t something to be stressed 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 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 Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can help 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 unsafe for you or your home. Reach out to a professional if you see:
- Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that takes place 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 consistently at any other time—you could have a problem 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 start your HVAC. Circuit breakers are an essential part of your home’s electrical system. When they trip and shut off power to a part of your space (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from an issue with your circuit. While it may be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s wise 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 not a bad idea to call a technician in to take a look. The team at Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 734-363-8907 or arrange an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your household can feel safe in your home.