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Can You Save Money by Closing Heating Vents?

By Angell Aire /

On average, home heating and cooling costs account for at least 50% of your energy bills. While it might seem to make perfect sense to close the heating vents in unused rooms, this strategy isn’t going to save you any money. In fact, it might just accomplish the opposite. Keep reading to learn more about the challenges created when you adjust the flow of heated/cooled air in your home.


Negative Impact on the Blower

The blower on an HVAC system handles the distribution of air. It uses one set of ducts to bring in air and another set to return the air to the interior of your home. If the vents are closed in any of the rooms in your home, it increases the level of pressure that the blower must push against in order to do its job. As a result, the blower has to reduce its flow of air or work harder to supply it. Both of these measures decrease the efficiency of your HVAC unit and raise the cost to run the equipment.


Negative Impact on the Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger on your HVAC has one job – to heat or cool the air that is moving throughout your home. Most heat exchangers feature fixed capacities that enable them to heat or cool air in a limited capacity. When the air flow becomes reduced due to the closing of vents, the result is an uneven distribution of heated or cooled air.

A secondary problem that occurs is the accumulation of condensation in the unheated rooms during the winter, a situation that can lead to the growth of mold. In the summer, the coil of the unit can become damaged due to the accumulation of water vapor that freezes on the components of your cooling equipment. If the coil becomes damaged, it can lead to costly repairs.


Zoned Duct Systems

If your home uses a zoned duct system, it is possible to close off one or more vents in an effort to reduce your energy consumption. The zoned duct system features variable speed blowers that adjust their output whenever they sense a difference in pressure, avoiding the need to reduce air flow or work harder.

If your energy bills are extremely high, you might want to look for ways to trim the expense. Closing the vents in your home is not one of the strategies that you should use. Most HVAC systems aren’t designed to modify their performance based upon the number of open vents. If you plan to close off vents as one of your cost-saving measures, you should invest in an HVAC unit with a zoned duct system.


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