Many 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 annoying when electricity in our homes doesn’t work the way we want it to. 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 differs depending on the situation.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered normal?
If you’re seeing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC begins, it usually 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 substantial 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 a lower amount of power available to them.
If this is the only 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 Connolly Electric & Mechanical. We’ll assess the situation and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can alleviate the problem.
When should I worry about flickering lights?
Flickering lights can also point to a more serious matter. Don’t try to figure this out by 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 a problem with your wiring.
- Lights that dim considerably. 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 switch on 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 not a bad idea to call a technician in to take a look. The team at Connolly Electric & Mechanical is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 928-251-4327 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.