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Can I Reduce HVAC Costs by Shutting Room Vents?


We like to focus on helping customers save energy in their homes with their heating and cooling systems, not just during a single season but throughout the year. That’s why we offer services for energy-efficient geothermal heat pumps and ductless systems.

However, there are methods you can use with your current AC or heater (whichever one you’re using right now during the temperature swings of early spring) that can lower utility bills. But there’s one “trick” that actually doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, and that’s closing off the vents in rooms. People often think that shutting off parts of the house to the flow of heated and cooled air from the HVAC system means less energy will be used. Not only is this not true, but doing this can cause damage to your ducts as well as your heater and AC.

The problem with closing off vents

The covers for room vents often have sliders to move louvers behind the grill. This is to help direct the air flow as it enters in the room. Closing the louvers all the way won’t completely stop air flow into the room, but it will have an unfortunate effect on the rest the of ventilation system: it will increase the pressure in it.

If your heater and AC use a variable-speed blower, an increase in pressure inside the ducts will force the blower to ramp up and start draining more power. This is quite the opposite of saving money! If you have a standard single-speed fan, the situation isn’t any better, because the increase air pressure will mean less air is moved around, so rooms with open vents will experience poorer comfort.

There are other possible consequences as well: frozen evaporator coils, leaks in the ducts, cracked heat exchangers, and even a damaged compressor. If you’re looking for energy savings in your house, you definitely don’t want to go with closing the vents! Instead, call on professional for assistance and new installation ideas.

Raleigh Heating & Air, Inc. offers air conditioning services in Clayton, NC and throughout Wake County and the surrounding areas.

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