You may have noticed that your lights dim when AC turns on. It happens to a lot of people, and it happens so often that you’ve probably gotten used to it. On a hot South Florida day, the air conditioner kicks on, the lights dim for a few seconds and boom, you go on with the rest of your day. You may think that it’s not a big deal. But if it happens continuously or more frequently than usual, you may want to look into the situation more closely. When the lights dim when the AC fan turns on, you may or may not have an issue on your hands. The following information provide by USA Air Conditioning Services can help you determine if you need to dig further.
When Lights are Dimming from AC is that a Problem or Not?
If your lights dim for just a few seconds after the light turns on, this shouldn’t be an issue. Your HVAC system consumes a lot of power, something that you can attest to with your monthly electric bill that seems to reach ridiculous, almost comical heights during the hotter months. When this behemoth system starts up, it’s sucking energy away from the other appliances in your home that use electricity, including your lighting. Hence the quick dimming of the lights when you flip the AC switch on. You also want to take a look at how much the lights are dimming. Ideally, the lights shouldn’t be losing more than five percent brightness when they dim.
There are several reasons that the lights may be dimming. Other things that happen along with the lights dimming may offer a clue as to whether or not you have a big issue on your hands.
Your Capacitor Could Be Damaged
When your lights dim a little bit when the AC kicks in, and the lights dim just a little, your system should be fine. When the lights dim by as much as 40 percent, your AC’s compressor may not be able to start correctly. Your air conditioner capacitor provides your compressor with the energy it needs to start up. The longer you own your AC unit, the weaker the capacitor gets as it becomes less able to store up energy. If your capacitor can’t provide the compressor with the power it needs, your AC unit steals energy from other appliances to get it revved up. Your AC unit may steal power from your lighting, and this is why your lights end up dimming. In this case, you’ll need to call your HVAC service to come in and repair or replace the capacitor.
Your Home’s Wiring May Be Faulty
If your home’s wiring is weak or damaged, it could reduce the amount of energy that flows through to your appliance, including your lighting. If your AC is turned on, it’s going to absorb a considerable amount of the current flow, causing things like your lighting to lose power. If you’re concerned that the issue with your system is a wiring issue, call in an electrician and a HVAC person to have a look.
Your AC Is On the Same Circuit as Your Other Appliances
If you hear a buzzing sound when the lights dim as you turn on your AC, the issue could be that the AC is sharing a circuit with your other appliances. The problem with this is that the National Electric Safety Code requires that major appliances have dedicated circuit lines. If you put large appliances on the same line as the other appliances, you could overload the circuit, putting your home at risk for fire. To resolve this issue, disconnect appliances that are sharing circuit lines with your AC. Then call an electrician to come in and figure out a safer wiring setup.