Posted: November 8, 2018 by Andy
Heating and cooling your house accounts for about half of all energy usage in a typical home. To save some money, you might wonder if it's OK to close air vents in unused rooms. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea. Closing vents can cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently and possibly even damage it, costing you more in the long run.
Fact: Your HVAC system was built to have a balanced air flow with all vents open. This means that your ductwork is sized for the amount of air coming in to match the volume of air going out. Your blower pulls air from the house through its return air ducts and then pushes it back into the house through its supply ducts. As a result, closing vents disrupts the balance of your HVAC system.
To put it another way, imagine you're running and breathing by inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through your nose. Now, close one nostril but continue to run at the same pace. You're continuing to use the same amount of air but via fewer airways. You can either use less air or put in more effort to breathe comfortably. The same airflow principle applies to your HVAC system. By closing vents in your home, you're not helping your system to work less - instead, you're just increasing the pressure in your air ducts. This is bad because your blower is only designed to deliver a certain amount of air against a certain amount of pressure.
Fact: Closing vents can actually cause a variety of problems, depending on the type of blower your system has (PSC is the most common):
Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) Blower. Closed vents will cause this blower to run more slowly because it can't handle additional pressure. This causes your home to become oxygen deprived, which can cause your air conditioner's evaporator coil (the part that cools the air) to get too cold and freeze up (ice over). A frozen coil can cause liquid refrigerant to flow back into the outdoor unit's compressor and will eventually destroy it. In the winter, your furnace's heat exchanger could overheat and crack, risking dangerous exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) in your home.
Electronically Commutated Motor (ECM) Blower. This type of blower can adjust its speed to different conditions. Closing the air vents will overwork the blower to overcome the extra pressure, resulting in a much higher energy expenditure.
Duct leakage. Added pressure in your ductwork could cause small leaks to become large ones. You'll then be wasting money, paying to heat or cool your attic or crawlspace.
Noise and discomfort. With your blower delivering less air, your home will take longer to cool off or warm up, causing your system to run longer.
Mold growth. When warm and cool air meet, condensation and mold will form. This is especially common in the summer if there are leaks in your ductwork.
Closing one vent in your home won't instantly ruin your system, but it's not a good idea long-term. The best practice is to always keep all of your air vents open, even in unoccupied rooms. This might sound counterintuitive, but leaving every vent open will use less energy, will extend the life of your HVAC unit, and will save you considerably more money over time.
If your HVAC system isn't working as well as you like, give us a call! We also offer 24/7 emergency services.
We're committed to providing fast friendly emergency service 24 hours a day 7 days a week for residential heating and air conditioning systems in Wooster, Millersburg and the surrounding areas.
Our 24-hour emergency on-call service means you'll never have to go through another cold winter night or a hot, humid summer day. We service residents of Wayne and Holmes counties with no after-hours or overtime fees, so you'll never have to worry about paying extra because your furnace or air conditioner decided it wanted to quit on the weekend or a holiday!
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We'll keep your Wayne County furnace running smoothly, and we service gas and electric heaters, heat pumps, ductless mini-split systems and more. Our local, licensed, friendly HVAC technicians drive fully-stocked service vans so when we troubleshoot your Holmes County HVAC system and find a faulty part, we can replace it right then! Whatever you need in the area of heating and cooling repair in Wooster, Millersburg, and the surrounding areas, we've got you covered!
The right system for your home
Whether you're a homeowner in Rittman who's in the market for a new, high-efficiency furnace, a mobile home owner in Shreve who's tired of baking in the summertime or you're a property manager in Dalton looking to replace old, temperamental air conditioning systems in apartments with new reliable units, our experience enables us to quickly and accurately assess your HVAC needs. You'll get the new furnace install and central air conditioning upgrade that's right for you.
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While we don't mind visiting your home for a dead-of-winter breakdown (it's what we do), we want to help you avoid that unfortunate situation altogether. That's why we offer affordable Wayne and Holmes County seasonal HVAC maintenance to reduce the future need for heating and cooling repairs. Our thorough inspections catch little problems before they become big ones. An annual HVAC tune-up by one of our expert techs saves you money, time, and stress!
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