We’ve come a long way since we first began using electricity to power our homes and streets in the 1880s. Today, the average US household uses a whopping 10,649 kilowatt hours per year, though the numbers vary by location.
However, just because we rely on electricity these days doesn’t mean the system is perfect. Electrical problems remain common across the nation, meaning that you’re not alone if you’ve noticed that your lights keep flickering.
What’s causing this troublesome issue, and what can you do about it? Here’s what you should keep in mind.
Light Bulb Issues
In some cases, using the wrong light bulbs can lead to flickering lights indoors.
Fluorescent lights, for example, sometimes flicker in cold temperatures, which can be an issue if you tend to see severe winters in your area. LED bulbs with incompatible dimmer switches might also flicker from time to time.
Do some troubleshooting to see if using a different type of light bulb fixes the issue throughout your home.
An Overloaded Circuit
Do your lights start to flicker when you turn on a major home appliance, such as the HVAC system or your dryer? If that’s the case, it’s possible that your electrical circuit is too overloaded to function as needed.
The issue here may lie with the appliance itself, especially if the flickering continues as long as the appliance is running. On the other hand, if you notice brief flickering only when the appliance turns on, it might be the fault of your circuit board.
Faulty Fixtures and Connections
In some cases, a faulty fixture or connection might be to blame for your flickering lights. This is more likely if you’ve noticed flickering lights in one lamp or one area of your home. However, if you have an older home with outdated wiring, it’s possible that you may have multiple faulty connections.
If you believe that your wiring may be faulty, check to see whether playing with the switch and wiring causes a flicker. If it does, you’ll need to contact a home electrician to tackle the fix: this isn’t an easy DIY job!
If there seems to be no pattern to the way your home’s lights dim, it’s possible that your home’s voltage is the culprit. Your voltage should hover between 115 and 125 volts, a status you can check with a household voltmeter. If you notice that your home’s voltage peaks or dips outside of this range, speak to a residential electrician about the issue.
Neighborhood Electrical Usage
If you share electrical transformers with your neighbors, their electric loads will impact your supply. In other words, their heavy electricity usage elsewhere may be to blame for your issues. An electrician can determine this for certain, and they can also check to see whether the problem lies with the transformer itself.
Tell an Expet That Your Lights Keep Flickering
Hiring an electrician is hands-down the best way to figure out why your lights keep flickering, as well as to understand your next steps. Though it may be tempting to try a quick electrical fix yourself, DIY jobs can be dangerous, so be sure to leave the task to the professionals. Reach out to a reputable company in your area to keep your lights glowing strong!
Looking for more of the household tips and tricks you need to know? Be sure to check out our other guides for additional insights.