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 frustrating when electricity in our homes doesn’t work the way we anticipate. 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 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 kicks in, 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 major 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, don’t have as much 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 Street Heating and Cooling. We’ll assess the situation and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can solve 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. 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 consistently at any other time—you could have an issue 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 unexpectedly drops considerably, you could 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 an area of your home (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 wise to bring a professional in to check that 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 Street Heating and Cooling is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 605-206-3915 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.