Lots of things in your home run on electricity—from charging your phone 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 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 indicate a serious electrical problem? It depends.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered normal?
If you’re experiencing 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 regulated 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 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 tired of the flickering, schedule an appointment with Siloam Springs Heating & AC. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can alleviate the problem.
When should I be concerned 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. Reach out to a professional if you notice:
- 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 regularly 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 unexpectedly drops considerably, you could 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 part of your space (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from an issue 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 check that there isn’t a more serious problem.
Any time your HVAC system and lights don’t work together, it’s safe to call an expert in to take a look. The team at Siloam Springs Heating & AC is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 479-308-8176 or arrange an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.