Question about lights and your HVAC

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

Lots of things in your home depend on electricity—from charging your phone 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 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 indicate a serious electrical problem? It differs depending on the situation.

When are dimming or flickering lights considered common?

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 limited amount of electricity it can use at any given time. Large appliances—like your HVAC system—need a significant amount of electricity to start up. When those appliances turn on, they take 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 All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. 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 signify a more serious matter. Don’t investigate yourself. The problem could be hazardous for you or your home. Call 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 challenge with your wiring.
  • Lights that dim drastically. When you experience normal dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights abruptly 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 a critical 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 a problem 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 All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 256-801-4701 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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