Most things in your home run on electricity—from charging your cellphone 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 HVAC 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 common?
If you’re seeing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC starts, it probably isn’t something to be worried about.
While it might not feel like it, your home has a certain 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 single 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 Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 investigate yourself. The problem could be hazardous for you or your home. Reach out to a professional if you notice:
- Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that occurs 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 continually at any other time—you could have a problem with your wiring.
- Lights that dim considerably. When you experience usual dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights suddenly drops considerably, you may 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 house (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from a concern with your circuit. While it may be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s smart 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 an expert in to take a look. The team at Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 204-272-8128 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your household can feel safe in your home.