There’s a common myth that states closing air vents in unused areas of your home will result in lower utility bills. Studies from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have proved, however, that closing air vents can actually increase energy consumption in a forced-air heating system due to unbalanced airflow and increased duct leakage. Some of these problems can occur during cooling as well.
Why Doesn’t It Work?
Closing off the air vents in unused areas of your home seems like a sensible enough idea. With no open ducts, no heating or cooling will pump into the room, resulting in less energy consumption. However, shutting these vents will create more pressure in the room, which causes the return ducts to suck in air from the closed-off room, resulting in dirty and unconditioned outside air being drawn inside through leaks in your home’s outer envelope.
Balanced airflow isn’t all about heating and cooling. It’s also a crucial element of avoiding excessive buildup of moisture, which can lead to increased levels of bacteria and mold. This can affect both your personal health and the structure of your home.
While you should avoid closing air vents in your home, you can make simple lifestyle changes to reduce your energy consumption and retain heat in the winter and keep it out in the summer. For example, using ceiling fans to supplement A/C cooling, sealing air leaks in your home’s windows, doors, exterior and ducts, and checking insulation levels, especially in the attic, will greatly reduce your utility bills.
If you need more information on closing air vents, or are seeking an air conditioning contractor in Lake Worth or the surrounding areas, please contact us at Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechancial, Inc. today.