Homeowners often seek ways to reduce heating and cooling costs. They may try a variety of methods, including closing vents in seldom-used areas of their home. However, this practice may not have the intended result. While closing vents may help conserve energy in older homes, it increases energy waste in a home with a forced air system. With vents closed, pressure increases within the system and more air escapes through leaks in the ductwork. While the warmed or cooled air may not be reaching the designated room, it’s going to places where it’s not needed. This means homeowners are actually paying for energy that’s being wasted in an unneeded area of the home.
Another consideration for homeowners is what can occur if a room gets too cold during the winter months. Cold interior temperatures can cause damage to wooden window and door frames, as well as different types of flooring. Interior room temperatures shouldn’t drop below 45 degrees, so homeowners should use care and monitor any areas of the home being unused during the winter months.
Cold air returns can contribute to increased energy usage in a room with closed air vents. With a vent being closed, the cold air return seeks cold air from any source. These sources can be any sort of gap in window frames or flooring by which cold air may pass.
A high efficiency furnace is designed to heat the specific square footage of the home where it’s installed. The fans are also designed to operate at full speed with such a furnace. Closing vents creates air blockages which force the furnace to work harder.
Another hazard created by closing vents is freezing in the duct system. The presence of an icy buildup will also cause the furnace to operate at less then optimum efficiency and can shorten the life span of the machine.
For more information about closing air vents, or for answers to other home comfort questions, contact the experts at Rheem Pro Partner. We proudly serve the HVAC needs of homeowners throughout northern Colorado, as well as Casper and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
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