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Why Do My Lights Flicker When My Furnace Turns On?

As winter approaches, the reliability of your home’s furnace becomes more and more essential. Ensuring the unit functions properly is not only a matter of comfort but also of safety. That said, have you ever noticed your lights flickering when your furnace kicks into action? It’s a telltale sign that something may be amiss in your heating system. While it’s not uncommon, it’s an issue that often prompts homeowners to wonder what might be the cause.

To figure out why your lights flicker when the furnace turns on, it’s important to speak to experienced technicians who understand your heating and electrical system. These professionals can inspect your home and locate anything that might be causing these problems to occur.

3 Reasons Your Lights Flicker When the Heater Turns On

There are many reasons as to why your lights flicker when you turn your HVAC system on. Whether you have problems with your wiring or your service panel can’t handle the amount of power, you should have a professional safely inspect your devices and systems so they can find the best solution for you.

Below are a few common reasons why your lights may flicker when the heater turns on.

1. Circuit Overload

One common issue leading to lights flickering when the furnace starts is circuit overload. Your home’s electrical panel consists of multiple circuits, some of which supply power to several electrical devices simultaneously. So, when your furnace kicks in, it momentarily decreases the electricity available to other items sharing the same circuit.

If this leads to constant light flickering, it may indicate a circuit overload, and the breaker might trip to prevent electrical overloading.

Installing a dedicated circuit and breaker for your furnace can help alleviate this issue. Ensuring your heating system has its own separate electrical path ensures a more consistent power supply and eliminates interference with other appliances.

2. Exposed Wires

Another reason your power keeps flickering during furnace operation could be exposed wires within the furnace’s power cord. Exposed wires create the risk of arcing, which is an electrical short between wires, causing electricity to jump between them and potentially leading to fires.

All wires should be properly sheathed to prevent such issues, ensuring safety within your heating system.

3. Distribution Panel Overload

You may experience lights flickering when the furnace runs due to overloading the distribution panel. Every home has a maximum voltage capacity that it can safely receive through the distribution panel. Adding numerous circuit breakers or large appliances to your home can surpass this limit. In such cases, your furnace might be consuming the last available electricity, causing the flickering of lights.

To address this issue, you might need to assess the load on your distribution panel. It might be necessary to redistribute the electrical load by balancing circuits, or to consider upgrading your electrical panel to handle the additional demand. In some cases, a dedicated circuit for your furnace can help relieve the problem and prevent lights from flickering.

If you come across any exposed wires, it is imperative to contact an electrician immediately. Addressing exposed wires promptly is essential to prevent potential dangers. An electrician can encapsulate the wires correctly to ensure the safe and reliable operation of your furnace.

Make your Furnace Reliable Again

For reliable furnace repairs in Maryland, turn to the experts at GAC Services. We have the knowledge and experience to get any furnace issues resolved in no time. We will carefully inspect your entire heating unit and your electrical system so we can apply the appropriate solution for your specific situation.

Contact us online or call us at (301) 579-0595 to schedule an appointment for your furnace.

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At GAC, we understand how important a functioning HVAC system is for your home. This is why we offer flexible financing options to help you take care of your new HVAC purchase, so you can get back to taking care of what matters most to you.

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