Does closing vents redirect air in your home to save energy?

If you’ve ever tried to reduce energy costs at home, you may have been told to close the air vents in rooms you are not using. On the surface, stopping airflow into empty rooms makes sense, but will closing vents redirect air and save you money? It might surprise you to learn that closing air vents wastes energy and can damage your HVAC system!

Ductwork Leaks

It’s not ideal to have leaks within your ducts, and no duct system is leak-proof. Closing vents in your home increases the pressure inside the HVAC system and causes more leaks. The higher pressure forces air from the unconditioned spaces to circulate through your home. It also makes your air conditioner work harder than necessary, which in turn uses more energy.

Variable-Speed Blower Motors

Higher pressure inside the duct system due to closed vents causes variable-speed blower motors to work much harder to maintain adequate airflow. This action completely negates your efforts to save energy in your home.

Single-Speed Blower Motors

Most HVAC systems have single-speed blower motors, which only operate at two settings: on and off. These systems are unable to compete with the high pressure in the ducts, which reduces airflow. As less air circulates through your home, it will become increasingly more uncomfortable. Even worse? The low airflow can also cause the AC evaporator coil to freeze, preventing your air conditioner from cooling your home and require a service call.

Wear and Tear

When there is less airflow, some refrigerant will make it back to your compressor as a liquid, damaging the equipment over time. This liquid refrigerant in the compressor will increase the chance of a cracked furnace heat exchanger, which would require immediate attention from a professional.

Effective Ways to Save Energy

Now that you know the damaging effects of closing air vents, how can you save energy? 

-Partially closed air vents can direct air where you want it without completely restricting the system airflow. 

-Install a zoning system with multiple thermostats, air handlers, and dampers in the ductwork, which lets you direct air where you want without the unintended consequences.

-Upgrade to a new, more energy-efficient HVAC system

If your system needs repairs or you’re considering upgrading to a new energy-efficient AC system, contact Donley to make sure the job is done right!