Question about lights and your HVAC

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

Lots of things in your home depend on electricity—from charging your cellphone 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 heating and cooling system starts to operate.

The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles indicate a serious electrical problem? It varies.

When are dimming or flickering lights considered usual?

If you’re noticing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC begins, it probably isn’t something to be stressed 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 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, don’t have as much 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 irritated by the flickering, schedule an appointment with Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling. 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 point to a more serious matter. Don’t assess the situation yourself. The problem could be dangerous for you or your home. Call 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 consistently at any other time—you could have an issue with your wiring.
  • Lights that dim drastically. When you experience typical dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights abruptly drops considerably, you might 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 a concern 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 Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling is here to offer you the help you need. When you need us, you can give us a call at 515-207-6569 or arrange an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.

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