When looking for ways to save money around the home, it may at first seem logical that shutting off rooms to conserve energy will also trim your household bills. What seems like a good idea at first glance may in fact increase your energy expenses and lead to excessive waste of conditioned air and money. Here are several important reasons why this is true.
- Closing vents and rooms can cause pressure changes that cause air leaks: A tightly sealed home served by forced-air heating or cooling equipment is usually a carefully balanced system. The furnace, air conditioner or heat pump likely has been sized to accommodate the temperature needs of the house, and duct pressures and other factors have been taken into account. When you shut off rooms or close vents in the ductwork system, changes in airflow and air pressure can increase the amount of air and energy wasted via leaks in the ductwork and the home’s envelope.
- Return registers in closed-off rooms can pull in unwanted air: Even if the supply vents are not dispensing heated or cooled air, the pressures in a sealed room can cause outdoor air to be pulled into the room. This may affect temperatures in adjoining areas, which can increase the need for heating or cooling there.
- Closed rooms and vents can create airflow problems: In some cases, closed-off rooms and vents can create blockages that cause your HVAC system to work harder. This can result in malfunctions and breakdowns that are costly to repair. HVAC equipment efficiency also will be reduced, which will make the system more expensive to operate.
- Closed vents and rooms can increase problems related to indoor moisture: When rooms are closed off, they can also suffer from reduced ventilation. Moisture levels can increase in sealed rooms, which can cause costly damage to flooring, molding, furniture, wallpaper and objects within the room.
Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing has served HVAC customers in Traverse City County for more than three decades. Contact us today for more information on energy conservation and whether or not shutting off rooms to conserve energy will work in your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about conserving energy and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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