Some homeowners may try to reduce their heating and cooling costs by closing the vents in the unused rooms of their house. Unfortunately, this practice can have the opposite effect of actually raising your energy bills and damaging your HVAC system. Keep reading to learn three money and comfort-saving reasons to keep your vents open.
Dangers of Closed Vents
1. HVAC System Damage
A home’s ductwork is designed to provide optimal airflow to the HVAC system, enabling it to efficiently maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature throughout the house. Closed vents can disrupt that airflow, forcing the system to work harder. This results in higher heating and cooling costs and increased wear and tear on critical HVAC components.
For example, air is moved through the system by a fan. But closing a vent can raise the air pressure in the ductwork, making the fan work harder and causing its motor to fail. Reduced airflow also causes the AC’s evaporator coil to freeze over, resulting in costly damage to the coil and reducing the AC’s efficiency. Likewise, a lack of airflow can damage the furnace’s heat exchanger, releasing toxic fumes and creating a serious danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
2. Higher Heating and Cooling Costs
One of the main reasons homeowners close their vents is to avoid heating or cooling a room they seldom use, such as a spare bedroom or guest bathroom. However, the HVAC is still moving the same volume of air, only now through a reduced volume of space. This increases the air pressure in the ductwork, which can create leaks, resulting in lower efficiency and higher energy costs.
To better control heating and cooling in different parts of your home, consider installing a zoned HVAC system. Thermostats in the ductwork control motorized dampers which allow you to set customizable temperature zones throughout your home without disrupting the airflow to your HVAC system.
3. Decreased Comfort
Closing vents in unused rooms forces more hot or cool air into other parts of your house. This results in unbalanced heating and cooling. It can also disrupt humidity levels, causing condensation to develop in rooms with lower temperatures. The increased moisture can lead to mold, which causes serious health conditions such as respiratory disease, headaches, and fatigue.
To avoid heating or cooling a specific room without disrupting airflow and raising humidity, try closing the vents no more than 75% of the way. Keeping vents and interior doors open can ensure proper air circulation, maintain healthy humidity levels, protect your HVAC system, and reduce energy costs.
The award-winning team of professionals at Jon’s Plumbing & Heating in Mount Vernon is ready to help you with all your heating and cooling needs. They offer HVAC installations, tuneups, and repairs. Call them today at (740) 392-5667 to schedule an appointment, or visit their website to learn more about their membership benefits and financing options.