Here's Why Shutting Rooms is a Bad Idea for Energy ConservationIf you want to conserve energy, don’t fall prey to the urban myth about closing vents in seldom-used rooms. The truth is, shutting a room won’t help you save energy, and it can have a number of serious consequences, such as:

  • Comfort problems. When you shut some vents, airflow becomes restricted in the ductwork and pressure rises in your HVAC system. If you have a single-speed air handler, the fan speed drops in response, so you’ll feel less conditioned coming from your open vents.
  • Increased energy usage. If you bought a system with a variable-speed blower to save energy, you won’t see any benefit because the fan has to run on higher speeds when airflow is restricted and the system pressure is high.
  • Component failures. Slower air speed across the coil in a heat pump or air conditioner can lead to icing, and this in turn can cause overheating in the compressor that makes it more likely to fail. So, the end result of closing some vents may be a costly component replacement.
  • Ductwork leakage. When air pushed by the blower fan can’t exit through closed vents, it has to get out somewhere, so it escapes through any existing leaks and creates new deficiencies in the ducts. And when the conditioned air loss gets worse, more of your energy dollars are wasted.
  • Safety concerns. The pressure increase that occurs when you run the furnace with some vents closed can create cracks in the heat exchanger. Once the heat exchanger is damaged, its easier for carbon monoxide to enter your indoor air supply.

Effective Alternative to Shutting Vents for Energy Conservation

If you want to reduce energy consumption in seldom-used areas of your home, a zoning system may be the answer. To create two or more zones, an HVAC pro installs dedicated thermostats and motorized ductwork dampers. All these devices are then wired to a single central panel so you can control each area independently.

To learn about other alternatives to shutting a room to conserve energy in your Grand Traverse County home, contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

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 energy savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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