Question about lights and your HVAC

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

Most things in your home run on electricity—from charging your cellphone 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 heating and cooling system starts to operate.

The question remains: Do dimming or flickering lights at the beginning of HVAC cycles show a serious electrical problem? It differs depending on the situation.

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 probably 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 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 irritated by the flickering, schedule an appointment with Paso Robles Heating and Air. We’ll review your system 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 indicate a more serious matter. Don’t assess the situation yourself. The problem could be dangerous for you or your home. Contact a professional if you notice:

  • Lights that continue to flicker. The normal flickering that takes place when there isn’t enough power to keep up with 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 problem with your wiring.
  • Lights that dim considerably. When you experience usual dimming, the effect is enough that you notice a small, brief change. If the intensity of your lights unexpectedly drops considerably, you could 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 home (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 best 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 not a bad idea to call a technician in to take a look. The team at Paso Robles Heating and Air is here to offer you the help you need. When you need us, you can give us a call at 805-203-8667 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll make sure everything is in order so your household can feel safe in your home.

Back To Blog