Question about lights and your HVAC

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

Most things in your home rely on electricity—from charging your phone 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 expect. For many homeowners, this stress can come to a head when lights flicker after their air conditioning or heating system starts to kick in.

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 experiencing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC starts, 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 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, 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 tired of the flickering, schedule an appointment with Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating . We’ll assess the situation 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 assess the situation yourself. The problem could be hazardous for you or your home. Contact a professional if you experience:

  • Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that happens 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 a problem with your wiring.
  • Lights that dim considerably. When you experience typical 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 a section 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 wise 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 an expert in to take a look. The team at Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating is here to provide support. When you need us, you can give us a call at 949-525-9119 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.

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