Question about lights and your HVAC

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

Many 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 air conditioning or heating 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 normal?

If you’re seeing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC begins, it likely 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 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 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 ACS Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll review your system and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can alleviate the problem.

When should I take action about the flickering lights?

Flickering lights can also indicate a more serious matter. Don’t try to figure this out by yourself. The problem could be dangerous for you or your home. Reach out to a professional if you experience:

  • Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that occurs when there isn’t enough power to accommodate 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 significantly. When you experience usual dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights suddenly drops considerably, you may have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
  • A circuit breaker trip when you switch on 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 home (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 a good idea to call a professional in to take a look. The team at ACS Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 770-450-1539 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.

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