Don’t Shut Off HVAC Vents Into Unused Rooms to Save Money & Energy

A frequent call for HVAC service in Dover is inconsistent cooling or heating throughout the house. Sometimes, it’s because homeowners have attempted to alter the airflow in certain areas of the house by closing supply vents. The most common motivation is to save energy and lower operating costs. While it sounds like a reasonable strategy, the opposite is true. In fact, closing supply vents to rooms may actually raise cooling and heating costs as well as degrade indoor air quality for these two reasons:

Air Imbalances

While the supply vent in a room delivers airflow from the air conditioner or furnace, the return vent draws an equal volume of air out of the room continuously. shutterstock_108755303However, when no air flows through a closed supply vent, the return vent (which cannot be closed) continues to remove air at the same rate, tipping the room air balance into the negative or “depressurized” range. To equalize this pressure imbalance, unconditioned outdoor air flows in through structural cracks and gaps, room temperature rises or falls significantly and household humidity also increases. Overly chilled or hot rooms increase heat loss or gain from adjoining occupied rooms. Indoor air quality suffers, too: Air sucked into depressurized rooms may originate from the attic, crawl space, or wall voids, and may be contaminated with bacteria, mold spores, or simply elevated levels of dust and dirt.

Duct Leakage

Conditioned air loss through duct leaks impacts household efficiency and comfort. When duct pressure increases throughout the system because one or more supply vents is closed, however, air leakage from ductwork may be increased even further. This lost air typically leaks into unconditioned zones like the crawl space or attic and contributes nothing to household comfort. Energy consumed by the air conditioner or furnace to cool or heat air that subsequently leaks out of ducts is wasted—so is the money you’ll spend to pay for it when the monthly bills arrive.

“V” is for victory in saving money and energy. To schedule HVAC service in Dover contact Victory · Heating · Air Conditioning · Plumbing.

Image via Shutterstock

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