Closing A/C Vents in Unused Rooms Will Not Save You Money

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When you first think about it, shutting vents in unused rooms seems like a smart, easy way to lower your energy expenses because there is less space to cool. Theoretically, if the door and vents are closed, no air will be pumped into the unused room or rooms, which will make it easier for your HVAC system to keep the rest of the house comfortable. By redirecting the forced air away from the unused spaces, you expect to cool the other rooms faster. However, the Consumer Energy Center has cited a Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory study from 2003 that reached the conclusion that closing vents actually leads to an increase in energy use, not a decrease.

Wasted Energy

For the same reason that closing a door to prevent airflow does not improve a house’s overall energy efficiency, closing the vents will not help it either. That is because your rooms have cold-air returns and vents that are meant to counterbalance each other. Shutting a room’s vents pressurizes the room. This makes the return ducts work harder, which results in air being sucked into the home through cracks around or in the window frames and doors. The extra burden on the system could result in the need for A/C repair in Katy if the HVAC system stops working properly.

While the return ducts are pulling in air from the outside, the air that is denied entry into the room has to find somewhere else to go. Usually, that means it is forced back into your attic. You do not end up using less energy. Instead, you pay to cool an area that you do not ever use.

Possible Damage to Your A/C System

Closing too many vents can also damage your system. Modern, high-efficiency HVAC units were designed to handle your home’s entire square footage while the fans spin at full speed. Blockages occur when you shut the vents, which makes it more difficult for the system to distribute air properly. Limited airflow in the wintertime can also cause condensation in the air ducts. The added work for your HVAC system can shorten its lifespan.

If you really feel the need to seal off a room that does not get very much use, hire a professional to do the job for you. An expert knows the right way to close off the ducts and adjust your system so that it does not have to work harder. Additionally, when you alter your HVAC system on your own, it will no longer be covered under warranty in the event of a breakdown. A professional can make alterations that will not affect your coverage.

Whether you require an emergency repair or a seasonal check-up, we will make sure that you stay cool this summer! If you need a Katy air conditioning service call or a visit to check out your system, call us at 281-238-9292 first. All Cool A/C & Heating offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on all our work.