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

April 22, 2019

Lots of 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 frustrating 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 run.

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 usual?

If you’re noticing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC starts, 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 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 done with the flickering, schedule an appointment with YES R&M Inc.. We’ll take a look and see if an equipment upgrade or circuit changes can solve 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 see:

  • Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that takes place 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 considerably. 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 may have something wrong with the outdoor compressor on your air conditioner.
  • A circuit breaker trip when you turn on your HVAC. Circuit breakers are an essential 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 might 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 YES R&M Inc. is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 562-286-6624 or make an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so you can feel safe in your home.