Can You Save Money by Closing HVAC Vents in Unused Rooms?

If you do a web search for “home energy saving tips,” you’ll get a tremendous amount of information. And while a great deal of this information is accurate and helpful, there are also many misconceptions floating around that will actually cost you money as opposed to saving it. One of these is closing HVAC vents in unused rooms.

On the surface, it sounds like a great idea. After all, everyone has rooms in their homes that aren’t used every day, so why waste hard earned money devoting energy to heating them? You wouldn’t leave your lights on in the dining room if you weren’t using it, so why leave the vents open and waste energy heating the room? Seems pretty logical, doesn’t it?

Sadly, it’s not that simple — allow me to explain.

If installed by a competent, professional HVAC contractor, your system will properly balanced. This means that the ductwork is sized so that the amount of air going into your system equals the volume of air going out. Closing HVAC vents will create a state of imbalance and will cause two main problems with your HVAC system:

  • Leaky ductwork: When you close HVAC vents pressure builds up in your ductwork, and rather than direct air into your home, the excess pressure can cause small leaks in your ducts to become larger from which warm or cool air will “leak”. You may end up paying good money to heat or cool your attic or crawlspace.
  • Reduced efficiency: The buildup of pressure also means your HVAC system will have to work hard to distribute air throughout your home. Your system will end up running longer because it has to cool or heat the same amount of space with less volume of air.

Leave your vents open. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a good way to ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently. If you’re concerned that your HVAC system has become inefficient and costly, contact an HVAC professional.

Closing HVAC vents to save money

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