Your home’s heating and cooling system is complex and consists of many parts. The vents that direct airflow into the rooms of your home are important because they allow you to heat and cool the entirety of the residence optimally. Closing the vents has long been said to save people money, but that isn’t true. You should only close vents if you want to run the heater or air conditioner without specific rooms becoming too warm or cool in the process.
Since so many people seem to believe that closed HVAC vents equal better energy efficiency, we’ve taken the time necessary to explain why this isn’t the case. We’ll go over what a closed vent does and how it can actually harm the HVAC system in the winter by causing it to work twice as hard to heat the home. As a final note, we’ll let you know the best ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency so you can run your HVAC system with the vents open and still save money.
The Problems That Closed Vents Cause
A closed vent in the winter isn’t a good idea for several reasons. We mention them below because we don’t want you to think you’re saving yourself money when you’re not. The biggest thing to note is that your HVAC system works in a very specific way. Once it’s been turned on, you’re expending energy which doesn’t save you money how you hoped it would.
Here’s what happens when you close the vents in the winter:
- The HVAC system works harder to heat or cool the home. The airflow is restricted, and the sensors may be overloaded because the warmed air travel back to them. The parts might become faulty long before they’re due because of overuse. You’ll end up replacing parts of the HVAC system or the entire system if you’re not careful about how you run the heater.
- It may be damaged because of how it’s being overworked. A small repair pales in comparison to a completely new system being installed. If you mistreat your HVAC, you’ll be required to replace it prematurely. When trying to cut costs, it’s not the answer. You’ll want to ensure that you don’t destroy the system needed to heat and cool your home comfortably.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning. Your risk of carbon monoxide exposure is far greater with the vents closed. You need to make sure that they’re open in the rooms you don’t use often. That’s because you could easily not know there’s a problem until it’s too late. Carbon monoxide poisoning is lethal and something you need to protect your family and pets by being overly cautious and keeping the HVAC vents open.
- Mold growth. The hotter the home is because the vents are closed, the better environment it gives mold to grow. It’s especially true in dark, warm, and moist rooms such as the bathroom, kitchen, and water heater closet. You can avoid the problem by making sure fans are turned on to keep the warm air flowing well and opening the vents so that the ventilation system works well.
- You’re still spending money on your home energy bills. You’ll likely pay far more than you expected on your heating needs. You’re not making things easier for yourself financially by closing the vents. Making sure you have the best insulation available in your home is a much better answer to lowering your home energy costs than closing the HVAC vents and hoping that you’ll save yourself a couple of bucks each season.
You’re mistaken if you think closing the HVAC vents in your rooms saves you money. You’re still running your air conditioner or heater, which is an expense. Closing the vents restricts the airflow into a room, but it doesn’t keep you from spending money cooling or heating your home. There are better ways to ensure that your HVAC system is energy-efficient without believing that closing off vents is the way to save.
It’s not just money you’re saving when you open the vents, it’s your life! Carbon monoxide poisoning happens without detection. The only way you know it’s present is if you have a detector in the home to alert you of it. You can avoid a potentially lethal situation involving you and the other occupants of your residence by being mindful about keeping the vents open after cleaning the floors.
What You Can Do Instead of Closing the Vents in a Room
Instead of closing the vents, you should start by doing an energy audit of the home. By identifying potential energy wasters, you can correct them and save money. You won’t lose out by doing things that actually cost you more because of misinformation shared with you by other parties. Instead, you’ll know where all the drafts are coming from and allow the cooled and heated air to escape the home wastefully.
Here are some things you can do to keep a room from getting too hot or too cold without closing the vents:
- Use a dehumidifier to pull the extra moisture from the air. It’s a machine that works well with HVAC systems. It can be a lifesaver if you find rooms humid. You can place the dehumidifier in the space and know that it’s doing the job of reducing humidity. It’s a way to run the heater without any room becoming too hot to spend time in for any length of time.
- Select energy-efficient lightbulbs such as LEDs.Incandescent bulbs can increase the temps inside the home by 11 degrees per 100-watt bulb. You can easily change the type of lightbulbs you buy and use for greater energy savings. Keeping the lights turned off when you’re not using them and drawing down the shades during hot days can keep the room cool without changing the air conditioner’s temperature.
- Run your fan counterclockwise in the winter and clockwise in the summer. Use your overhead fans to direct air. You have the option to change the rotation of the blades so that you can keep rooms from getting too hot or too cold. Ceiling fans are excellent in helping houses feel a comfortable temperature for everyone indoors.
- Recalk windows and doorframes. Make sure it isn’t stripped. If the caulking is non-existent, do your part to replace it. It’s a small fix that works well with your HVAC system. You won’t be tempted to close the vents because you’ll know that a well-insulated home is better at saving you money than trying to restrict the airflow into certain rooms.
- Use box fans and standing fans to direct the airflow. If you don’t have ceiling fans in every room, you can benefit from the addition of box fans and standing fans. They’re inexpensive and very effective. You’ll have no problem at all getting the room to remain cool or warm by turning the fans to the appropriate setting. Even on low, they help the air circulate better, eliminating the need to restrict the heater and air conditioning that’s been turned on.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t close the vents inside the rooms of your home except when cleaning them. If you’re worried about a room becoming too hot or cold, open the door or turn on a fan. It helps the air circulate better and not stay in one location in the area. You can count on it being an effective way to ensure that everyone inside the home is comfortable at all times without risking damaging the HVAC system in the process.
Having your vents inspected by a professional regularly is highly recommended. They know what to look for in potential threats and can provide you with sound advice on keeping your home energy bills low while still enjoying the benefits of having a working HVAC system. You’ll know that you made the right decision to call a professional because they give you the help that you need to avoid issues
Get the Help That You Need from an HVAC Company with Experience
Contact Delaware Heating & Air with your request for assistance with your HVAC system. Learn ways to make it run more efficiently. You may believe in misconceptions about your heating and cooling system that don’t save you time or money. We’ll dispel the myths and provide you with sound advice on ways to make your HVAC system run more smoothly.
Closing the vents inside your home causes more trouble than it’s worth in many cases. When you do want to heat or cool your house more efficiently, it’s not necessarily possible. You may forget that the vents are closed and adjust the temperatures to compensate for the lack of heat or cold air you’re experiencing in different rooms. Upon further inspection, you learn that it has everything to do with closed vents and nothing else.