Many things in your home depend on electricity—from charging your electronics to keeping the temperature inside where you want it. That’s why it’s annoying 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 HVAC system starts to operate.
The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles show a serious electrical problem? It depends.
When are dimming or flickering lights considered common?
If you’re noticing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC begins, it likely 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 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, have a lower amount of power available to them.
If this is the single issue you are facing, your lights should dim for less than a second and quickly return to full brightness. If you’re irritated by the flickering, schedule an appointment with Woody's Sudden Service. 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 indicate a more serious matter. Don’t assess the situation yourself. The problem could be unsafe 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 continually at any other time—you could have an issue with your wiring.
- Lights that dim considerably. 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 might 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 critical 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 problem 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 a technician in to take a look. The team at Woody's Sudden Service is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 703-278-2036 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.