Are There Benefits to Closing Vents in Unused Rooms in Winter?

Vents at Home
In the attempt to save money or to make your HVAC system more efficient, many homeowners make the mistake of closing vents in unused rooms in winter. While the idea may be to close off one area in order to make another area more comfortable, surprisingly, doing this can cause damage to your HVAC system, increase the energy needed to heat your home, and in turn, cost you more money.

Read on to learn why closing air vents can use more energy (not less!) and what you can do to increase HVAC performance safely.

Closing Air Vents: Why It’s a Bad Idea in Winter

When you close air vents in rooms in your home, those rooms become colder and bring the overall temperature of your home down. Unfortunately, most home heating systems are not designed to interpret these differences in temperature, meaning that despite your choice to close vents your heating system will continue to try to heat the whole house. Making your heating system work harder to bring the temperature up in all rooms of the house.

Further, reducing airflow to one room increases air pressure directed elsewhere throughout the duct system. Because your home’s HVAC system is designed to regulate the temperature of the entire house, when ducts are closed, this pressure can build up and may eventually cause damage to your ducts or heating system.

To sum it up, closing your air vents may mean that:

  • Your HVAC system must work harder.
  • Your HVAC system may sustain damage.
  • Your energy usage will increase.

What to Do Instead of Closing Heat Vents

Clearly, closing air vents is not going to give homeowners the desired results. So, what can you do save energy and reduce your home’s energy bills? To achieve the desired savings, we think we will get by closing vents in the winter, look to traditional energy efficiency methods instead.

Implementing energy efficient improvements in your home will reduce the wear and tear on your home’s HVAC system, keep your home warmer in winter, and reduce your home’s utility bills.

If you want to save energy, instead of closing air vents consider:

  • Checking for air leaks around ductwork, plumbing, the attic, crawlspace, windows and doors.
  • Adding weather stripping to windows.
  • Adding caulk to windows and doors.
  • Installing thermal insulating curtains.

Keep Your HVAC System Running Smoothly

Remember, despite it being counter-intuitive, it’s best to let your heater warm up your basement, attic or spare room, even if you don’t use them much.

Another great way to keep your home warm and efficient, in addition to implementing energy efficiency improvements, is to properly maintain your home’s heating system.

The professional team at your local Aire Serv® is ready to help you repair, maintain, and upgrade your heating system for better performance and efficiency. Our Total Comfort Tune-Up optimizes your furnace, heater or heat pump and spots potential problems before they arise.

From a pre-winter furnace check to expert assistance when choosing a furnace replacement, we can help you save energy, stay warm, and breathe easy all year long. Connect with our local experts at Aire Serv today to get started. Schedule an appointment online now or call.