Should I Keep My Wall Vents Open Or Closed?

hvac air registers

Many homeowners attempt to save on the cost of heating and cooling by keeping vents closed in unoccupied rooms. The logic for this is simple. Since vents are closed, cooled or heated air will be redirected elsewhere where it is needed. As a result, the use of conditioned air is maximized. While this may seem reasonable, the truth is that it could be costing you more in the long run. It also causes damage to your HVAC system.

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Reasons To Avoid Closing Registers For Temperature Control

In this article, we discuss why you should keep your registers open. Also, we share some tips on how you can save energy with the use of HVAC zoned solutions.

Understanding How HVAC Ventilation Works

Your home is likely to have a closed system wherein air is filtered to keep it clean and safe to breathe. Since the home is essentially closed, air remains motionless without an external force (such as a fan) to move it. A blower fan is used to distribute the air indoors. In a home where an HVAC system is in place, the air is moved to condenser coils to cool it or it is moved from the heating component (such as a furnace) where it is heated and distributed to different areas.

Depending on the HVAC system you have in your home, your fan motor may be fixed or variable. A fixed motor maintains a steady rate regardless of the air pressure indoors, while a variable motor will adjust itself automatically depending on the pressure it senses. The first type of motor is cheaper and often does not have a complicated set of components to run. If your home happens to have a system with a fixed motor, expect it to work harder just to move and redistribute air through a limited space.

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Why We Do Not Recommend Closing Your Air Registers

If you are trying to save on the cost of energy, closing the vents is definitely not one money-saving step you should do. Here are the reasons why.

Your Home HVAC System Does Not Work the Way You Might Think

The HVAC system does not have a built-in sensor that detects whether the registers are closed or open. It will continue to use the same level of energy to produce the same air volume, whether it is warm or cool. What it does do is to maintain the setting on the thermostat. As long as the thermostat setting is in place, the HVAC system will not slow down at all. In short, you will still be paying for the same amount of energy.

Imbalance In Pressure Will Be Created

When you close the registers in an attempt to save on energy, what you are closing is actually the supply register. The return register, which is responsible for drawing the air from the room, will remain open. Since the return register takes air away from an enclosed room, it creates a lower pressure. The depressurization of the room forces the infiltration of outdoor air through tiny holes, gaps, or cracks. This action leads to the destabilization of indoor air temperature, which could increase or decrease depending on the temperature of the outdoor air. This can also degrade the quality of indoor air.


Uneven Room Temperature

The HVAC system has internal dampers that adjust to control the volume of air supply into each room. This adjustment is necessary to ensure that there is sufficient airflow volume so that your HVAC system can maintain consistent temperatures. This is regardless of the distance of the room to the blower. When you close one or several supply registers, you cause the disruption of temperatures and airflow balance not just in the rooms but throughout the whole system. Due to this imbalance, there may be too much airflow in the rooms that are closer to the blower while too little airflow may be experienced in rooms farther away.

Increased Risk Of Wear-And-Tear To The System

When supply vents are closed, they increase static pressure within the supply ductwork. This, in turn, increases pressure in the system blower, putting more strain into that component. When the system blower continues to operate under increased stress, it is more likely to give in to wear-and-tear and have a shorter lifespan.

high energy bills

What To Do To Save On Your Home Heating & Cooling Costs

First, keep in mind that your HVAC system’s size is based on the measurements and other factors of your home. When its size matches the area of your home, it will heat up or cool down that specific amount of space. If you reduce the amount of space by closing the vents, the system will not work properly.

If you want to save money and still maintain a comfortable home, try using a system that offers zone temperature control. This will allow you to divide your home into several zones. The rooms upstairs, for example, could be one zone, while the rooms downstairs could be another zone, and the basement another zone. With zone temperature control, you can maintain different temperatures for different zones.

You could also adjust your thermostat to a setting that lets your HVAC system operate at the minimum or use fans to allow air indoors to circulate. Apply window treatments to maintain indoor temperature or leave open doors to rooms that are too warm or too cold to allow air to be distributed evenly.

You can also install a ductless HVAC system to supplement your central HVAC system. These systems offer zoned control and so you can install them in rooms or zones that you use more frequently. This way, you can adjust the thermostat to your central HVAC system so that it operates less and customize your comfort in the rooms that you are using. Talk to an HVAC contractor, like Point Bay Fuel, to find out more.

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Call Point Bay Fuel For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

For a trusted HVAC service provider, call Point Bay Fuel. We can provide you with exceptional and affordable HVAC services. Some of our services include installations, repairs, and maintenance.

You can count on us to provide you with friendly and knowledgeable service at affordable prices. By delivering honest and exceptional service, we can ensure the satisfaction of our customers.

Contact Point Bay Fuel today to learn more about what we can do for you! You can schedule a free, in-home consultation with one of our NATE certified HVAC professionals. Whatever your concerns, you can count on us to provide you with practical and affordable solutions. Call Point Bay Fuel now!

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