Heating and cooling energy use accounts for about 50 percent of the average Cincinnati home’s energy expenses – homeowners throughout the city and surrounding areas are constantly seeking ways to lower energy costs without sacrificing comfort.
One piece of common energy-saving advice which can actually be harmful is closing vents throughout the home. While it may seem like a no-brainer to restrict heating and cooling to unused areas of the home to save energy, we warn our customers to avoid this practice.
Closing vents restricts efficiency
Your home’s heating and cooling systems were designed to operate efficiently for the total square footage of your space. When you close vents, you’re creating a blockage which limits airflow through the duct system. When faced with these blockages, your furnace or air conditioner doesn’t know you’re trying to limit heating and cooling – instead, the equipment will work harder to deliver conditioned air to your living spaces. So, your system will be using more energy when you think you’re saving it. Restricted airflow will affect the whole home, not just your selected areas, throwing off comfort levels in all rooms.
Blocking airflow by closing vents causes pressure to build up within the ducts. Higher pressure damages the ducts, causing duct leaks which waste your conditioned air into unwanted areas, such as crawlspaces and attics.
Closed vents damage HVAC components
Closing your vents will cost you big time when you’re stuck paying to repair or replace HVAC components which are damaged in the process. Increased pressure and lowered airflow can cause evaporator coils to freeze, dangerous cracks to the furnace’s heat exchanger, a blown compressor, and refrigerant leaks, among other problems.
Instead of closing vents, a smarter solution is to zone your home. A zoning system will allow you to safely restrict heating and cooling to certain areas of the home without affecting whole home comfort or damaging your HVAC equipment.
For HVAC solutions that will help you save energy and protect your heating and cooling systems, contact Nelson Comfort today.