Responsible homeowners want to save money, as they should. No reason exists for anyone to throw away money due to waste and inefficiency. An HVAC system with an old filter, for example, won’t operate efficiently and could drive up monthly bills significantly. Changing a dirty filter represents a standard cost-cutting measure that few would argue against. The same would be true of installing a programmable thermostat or weatherstripping doors and windows.
What about closing air vents in unused rooms? Would taking such steps have any noticeable effect? Ironically, they may deliver a result, but not the one you want.
What Does an Air Vent Do?
As far as purpose, you could say an air vent does little more than provide a cover to a “hole” in the wall. A furnace or air conditioner sends hot or cold air through the ducts, and the ducts allow the air to enter a home through the vents. These are sometimes referred to as supply vents. Other vents, known as return vents, allow air to travel out as well.
Opening or closing the vents remains an option for a homeowner. Some may close the vents in an unused room to save some cash. After all, why heat or cool an empty room? The question makes sense and deserves a reliable answer. However, closing the vents might not do much.
The Furnace Runs
When you set the thermostat to a particular setting, the HVAC system then works to meet the demand. If you want to raise the temperature to 65 degrees, the furnace heats the air and blows the air through the ducts. The ducts then deliver the air to each room when the air comes through the vents. Closing a vent won’t have any impact on how the furnace operates. Don’t expect to save any money because the amount of air produced and circulated by the HVAC system doesn’t change. Closing the air vents may even deliver the opposite of the intended effect.
An Unfortunate Effect of Leaky Systems
When the air travels through the ducts to a closed vent, the air ends up forced back up the partial duct and into the ductwork. Now, the air travels through the other areas of ductwork and to the next vents. An unforeseen issue may occur here: the air could get lost through leaking or loosened ducts.
Air intended for an old bedroom returns to the ducts and heads to the kitchen — the ducts connected to the kitchen present loose seals. Now, the air that would have gone into the bedroom leaks through the imperfections in the system. In short, avoidable energy waste now occurs.
The furnace might even work a bit harder to make up for the lost air. Whenever a furnace experiences additional work, it can drive up heating bills. You could say the same thing of air conditioners and cooling bills.
Perhaps maintaining the HVAC system through routine maintenance would be a better way to save money. At Dugan Air Heating & Cooling, we want Franklin and surrounding area residents to know someone could help them with HVAC requests. Furnace and air conditioning repair work are two popular services we offer.
Troubles With the HVAC Arise
Closing one or two vents might not seem like a “big deal,” but the HVAC system may disagree. The potential exists that the coils may freeze, a direct result of restricted airflow. Problems with the coils, compressor, and even the heat exchanger may occur. Any damage inflicted on these parts may cause serious problems, and fixing the issues comes with added costs.
A tragic irony appears here: someone closes air vents to save money and now must pay significant sums to cover repair costs. Not only did no one save any money, but added costs also contributed to losing money.
Condensation may increase as well. With condensation comes the potential for mold growth. Now, removal steps must occur to get rid of the mold, which means more costs.
Closing vents doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. Homeowners should think twice about closing them.
Dugan Air Heating & Cooling stands at the ready to help with furnace requests, along with any heat pump or ductless heat pump services. We’ve been in business for 14 years and offer emergency services. Contact our customer care desk today.