Question about lights and your HVAC

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

Many 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 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 air conditioning or heating system starts to run.

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 normal?

If you’re experiencing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC kicks in, it probably isn’t something to be concerned 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 significant 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, don’t have as much power available to them.

If this is the lone 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 Farnell Mechanical, Inc.. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can help the problem.

When should I take action about the flickering lights?

Flickering lights can also point to a more serious matter. Don’t investigate yourself. The problem could be dangerous for you or your home. Call a professional if you experience:

  • Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that takes place 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 continually at any other time—you could have an issue 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 may have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
  • A circuit breaker trip when you start 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 an issue with your circuit. While it may 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 safe to call a professional in to take a look. The team at Farnell Mechanical, Inc. is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 334-245-4748 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.

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