Clover Electric Blog

Helpful Electrical Tips and Advice For Your Home

Is Your Air Conditioner Causing Your Lights To Dim?

Your lights dim or flicker because the outlet you have the A/C plugged into is unable to handle the power needed by the A/C. The same goes for dimming or flickering lights in other parts of your home. For example, your refrigerator or microwave could cause lights to dim or flicker when they first start up.

Air Conditioner Flickering and Dimming Lights

There are two main causes of this problem. Both will need your immediate attention to avoid total loss of power or even a fire.
  1. Damaged or Loose Wires - Damaged or loose wires weaken the current to the lightbulb or fixture. The solution may be as easy as tightening the wire connections at the outlet. Left unfixed, weak connections cause electrical arcing. This is a very dangerous fire hazard.
  2. A/C Is Sharing a Circuit With Other Lights or Appliances - If you have a window air conditioner plugged in to the same circuit as your TV, lights or another appliances, chances are you’re overloading that circuit causing the lights to dim. A quick solution is to move lights and appliances to other circuits to avoid tripping breakers. The best solution is to add a dedicated circuit.
The National Electric Safety Code requires that all major appliances have their own dedicated circuit. This includes your air conditioner. If other appliances are on the same circuit as your A/C, they’re most likely overloading it.

Overloaded circuits are more common in older houses that were not designed to withstand the amperage of modern air conditioners. However, it can happen anytime there is a large number of high voltage appliances on one circuit. 

Overloaded circuits can cause fires and electric shock. Clover Electric can help you determine what the best solution is so you can run your A/C and appliances safely.
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