Everyone wants to save money—we cut coupons, shop for the bigger deals, shut off lights in empty rooms…but what about closing off air vents in empty rooms?
As the experts at Angie’s List point out, it’s easy to understand why you might think it’s a good idea to shut off vents in empty rooms—empty rooms shouldn’t require extra heat or cooling, thus allowing that extra forced air to be put to use in the rooms with open vents.
However, according to a study performed by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, closing a register will lead to increased energy use, not less. The study showed that closing the registers in a typical California house over a year with duct leakage and a number of closed registers increased the energy use for that home.
If more than 60 percent of the registers in a house are closed, this will add to the flow resistance, thus severely restricted the air flow through your system, which can be a safety concern. One example the study shares was that furnaces may operate on the high-limit switch and cooling systems may be affected with frozen coils.
So how can shutting off registers affect your home?
Out of Balance – When your home was built, the amount of ductwork was determined so the amount of air going into your air conditioning system equals the volume of air going out. When you shut some vents, you mess up the balance.
Leaking Ductwork – Closed vents will cause pressure to build up in your ducts, and that air needs to go somewhere. The pressure can cause small leaks in your ducts to become larger, so instead of cooling those empty rooms, you could be cooling your attic or crawlspace.
Lacking Efficiency – That buildup of pressure mentioned above means your system must work harder to distribute air throughout your home, which will make your conditioner run longer, actually increasing your costs.
But what if you have a room that you are not using and don’t plan to use, or need heating or cooling in it any more? Call the experts at Lindstrom Air, and we’ll discuss closing off ducts and adjusting your furnace to help you save money and energy.