Many homeowners think that closing vents in unoccupied rooms will help them save money. After all, keeping the vents closed in unused rooms will allow the system to redirect air to rooms that are more commonly used, wouldn’t it? Homeowners think this will help maximize the use of conditioned air and reduce their energy costs. Unfortunately, this is not what happens. In fact, keeping the vents on the HVAC system closed could actually raise your costs over time.
Should You Close Your HVAC Air Vents To Control Temperature?
- 1 Should You Close Your HVAC Air Vents To Control Temperature?
- 2 Why Closing Air Registers Is A Bad Idea
- 3 How To Keep Home Heating & Cooling Costs Down
This article will discuss the reasons why you should (or should not) close vents. You will also learn the ways you can optimize your energy use with HVAC zoned solutions.
How Does HVAC Ventilation Work?
If you have an HVAC system, you likely have a closed system that utilizes filtered air within an environment. Without any external force (blowers or fans, for example), the air inside the room will remain motionless. A blower fan moves the air and distributes it to different areas. An HVAC system brings warm air from the room over to condenser coils which help lower its temperature. In case warm air is required, the system will move the air to a furnace or heater to increase its temperature before it distributes the air to the rooms.
Some HVAC systems have fixed fan motors, while others may have variable motors. Fixed motors run at a steady rate, unaffected by changes in indoor air pressure. Variable motors, on the other hand, adjust to the pressure automatically. A fixed motor is generally cheaper and simpler in terms of component setup. If your HVAC system runs on a fixed motor, it may have to work significantly harder to redistribute air in limited space.
Why Closing Air Registers Is A Bad Idea
The main reason why homeowners are tempted to keep vents closed is that they believe it will save them money. It won’t. Here’s why.
The Home HVAC System Works Differently From What You Know
Your home HVAC unit does not come with sensors that automatically detect open or closed vents. As such, it will keep utilizing the same amount of energy to cool or heat the same volume of air. The home HVAC unit will simply keep air at the temperature indicated on the thermostat. If the thermostat is set at a certain temperature, the HVAC unit will keep it at that level. Since the same level of energy is used, you will still be spending just as much whether or not you keep the vents closed.
Closed Vents Will Create Pressure Imbalance
The vent you close in your attempt to save energy is called the supply register. This is the vent that supplies air into a room. The register that draws air from the room is called the return register. This register will remain open even as the supply vent is closed. If you close a supply register while the HVAC system is running, this will create a lower pressure in the enclosed room since air is still being taken out. Your home becomes depressurized. As a result, air from outdoors will be drawn in through small holes, cracks, and gaps. Outdoor air is untreated, and when it enters a room, it will cause air temperature destabilization. As a result, indoor air can become warmer or cooler. Indoor air quality can also decrease.
Uneven Indoor Temperature
Your home HVAC unit has internal dampers, which are components that control air supply volume in every room. These dampers ensure that airflow volume is sufficient to keep temperatures consistent. It does not matter how far away from the blower a room is because the dampers will keep the room at the same temperature as the rest of the house. If a supply register is closed, the temperature and airflow balance will be disrupted throughout the whole HVAC system. When this disruption happens, rooms closest to the blower will experience increased airflow while rooms farthest from the blower will have significantly reduced airflow. Therefore, frequently used rooms will not feel more comfortable if they are far away from the blower.
Increased Wear-and-Tear On Your HVAC System
Closed air vents increase static pressure in the supply HVAC ductwork. This causes increased pressure in the blower, which also puts a strain on the component. When you close air vents, it stresses the blower and could completely malfunction prematurely due to wear-and-tear.
How To Keep Home Heating & Cooling Costs Down
Your HVAC system is designed to heat and cool your home. Its capacity is based largely on the total size of the areas to be heated or cooled. Many factors determine the proper load size of an HVAC system. This is why sizing is important for HVAC systems. Closing the supply vents will affect how well the system will work, even if it is the right size.
Zoned HVAC System
To keep your home comfortable and still save on the cost of energy, use a home HVAC system that has a zone temperature control. With this feature, you can plan the heating and cooling for the different areas that your home needs. By dividing areas into different zones, you can create the perfect environment for specific zones. You could, for example, assign upstairs rooms as one zone, downstairs area as a second zone, and your basement as a third zone. You can then maintain different temperatures in these zones.
For further cost savings, you can change thermostat settings that allow the HVAC system to run using the minimum amount of energy. You could also use fans for improved circulation. To help maintain a more consistent and comfortable indoor temperature, you could also use curtains, shades, or other window treatments. If certain areas are too cold or too warm, you could also leave certain doors open to help air move more freely.
Ductless Heating & Cooling
If your home uses a central HVAC system, consider installing a ductless system. Ductless HVACs allow for better zoning control, which means they can be installed in rooms that are frequently in use. Zoning control lets you adjust the settings on the central HVAC thermostat to optimize the use of the system. This lets you customize comfort in different rooms. If you want to learn more about this option, talk to a Lawes Company HVAC technician.
Call Lawes Company For All Of Your Heating & Cooling Needs
Lawes Company is one of the leading heating, cooling, and ventilation service providers in the region. We offer topnotch services at affordable prices that meet your budget. Our NATE-certified HVAC professionals are trained and skilled in installations, checkups, repairs, and maintenance.
We have built our reputation in ensuring that our services are exceptional by providing above industry-standard results. When our customers are satisfied, we know we did our job.
To find out more about what Lawes Company can do to keep your home safe and comfortable, call us for a personal, in-home consultation with our technicians at no cost. We can assure you not just of practical solutions that meet your concerns but also of affordable services that match your requirements. Call Lawes Company today.