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 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 heating and cooling system starts to run.

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 normal?

If you’re experiencing dimming that lasts for a fraction of a second when your HVAC kicks in, it usually isn’t something to be concerned 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 take a larger amount of the available electricity. This means the other appliances in your home, like your lights, have less 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 North Mechanical Heating and Cooling. We’ll assess the situation 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 try to figure this out by yourself. The problem could be hazardous for you or your home. Reach out to a professional if you see:

  • 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 regularly at any other time—you could have a problem 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 start your HVAC. Circuit breakers are a critical part of your home’s electrical system. When they trip and shut off power to a part of your home (powered by a specific circuit), they are attempting to protect you from an issue with your circuit. While it might be that you have too many appliances on the same circuit, it’s smart to bring a professional in to confirm 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 North Mechanical Heating and Cooling is here to help. When you need us, you can give us a call at 928-263-8570 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your family can feel safe in your home.

Back To Blog