Question about lights and your HVAC

My Lights Flicker When I Use My HVAC. Should I be Concerned?

Most 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 infuriating 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 kick in.

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 common?

If you’re experiencing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC begins, it usually 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 use 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 Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can solve the problem.

When should I worry about flickering lights?

Flickering lights can also indicate 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 happens when there isn’t enough power to keep up with 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 usual dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights abruptly drops considerably, you may have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
  • A circuit breaker trip when you turn on 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 house (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 smart 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 an expert in to take a look. The team at Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. is here to offer you the help you need. When you need us, you can give us a call at 877-389-2465 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your household can feel safe in your home.

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