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Why Do My Lights Flicker When My HVAC Turns On?

HVAC Services in Atlanta Lights Dimming | Anytime HVAC

Have you ever been relaxing in your living room, when suddenly, the lights flicker as the HVAC system turns on? It seems like something out of a horror movie, but it’s actually a common occurrence for homeowners. 

If the lights dim for less than a second or lose only a fraction of their brightness, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. However, if the lights flicker constantly or brighten before flickering, this may be an indicator of a larger issue at hand.

You might want to consider getting HVAC service in Atlanta if you find that the flickering is bothersome, you believe there is cause for concern, or you just aren’t sure what to make of it. In the meantime, here are the most probable causes and solutions for when your lights dim when the AC unit comes on.

Circuit Overload 

Your home’s electrical panel is all interconnected with circuits that supply power to multiple electrical outputs all at once. When your HVAC system turns on, the amount of electricity sent to the light switches decreases for a brief second. If it happens more than once, this could be a sign of circuit overload. A quick fix to this problem is to unplug appliances that are on the same circuit as the AC.

Exposed Wires

If any wires are exposed on the HVAC’s power block, this can cause an electrical short, resulting in electricity to skip from one wire to another. It can also potentially cause fires. You should contact an electrician right away to prevent any serious damage to wires or your home.

Damaged Wires

Wires with damage lessen how much current reaches the lightbulbs. When this issue is compounded with the drop in voltage that occurs when the AC comes on, your lights will dim or flicker. 

Damaged wires can even cause sparks and electrical shortages if left unattended. Call an electrician to fix the wires if you see that they are weathered or exposing the cords underneath.

Maxing Out the Distribution Panel

Every home has a voltage maximum threshold it can maintain through the distribution panel. If you have too many major appliances or circuit breakers running at the same time, the panel gets overloaded. 

Flickering lights could indicate that the HVAC system is using the last bit of electricity available and can be a warning to a possible electricity outage. A solution to this problem is to replace the distribution panel with one that can handle more voltage.

Damaged or Weak AC Capacitator

An AC capacitor behaves like a battery and gives the compressor motor the power it needs to start. Over time, it can lose the ability to store energy. Your AC will start to pull power from other appliances to start the compressor motor, causing the lights to dim. Replacing your AC capacitor can solve this issue.

Always check to see how and when the lights are dimming before coming to a conclusion about what actions to take. Most of the time, a tiny energy drain isn’t anything to worry about. 

If you’re still worried about what is causing the lights to flicker or want to put an end to it, contact the experts at Anytime Heating and Cooling, Inc. Our team of professionals can help you get to the bottom of any mysterious challenge in your home. Contact us or call (678) 904-2337 for a free consultation.

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