Should I Keep My Wall Vents Open Or Closed?
Most homeowners try saving on cooling and heating costs by closing the vents in unoccupied rooms. The logic here is quite simple. Since the vents are shut, they believe that heated or cooled air will redirect where it is necessary. Homeowners think that this results in the maximum use of conditioned air. However, the real truth is that closing vents to unused rooms costs you lots more, in the long run, as far as it may seem reasonable to you. It also damages your HVAC system.
Reasons To Avoid Closing Registers For Temperature Control
- 1 Reasons To Avoid Closing Registers For Temperature Control
- 2 Why We Do Not Recommend Closing Your HVAC Air Registers
- 3 What To Do To Reduce Your Home Cooling & Heating Costs
In this post, we highlight the reasons to keep registers open. Besides, we offer tips to save energy using HVAC zoned comfort solutions.
Comprehending How HVAC Ventilation Functions
Your home will likely possess a closed HVAC system wherein the air is filtered, keeping it safe and clean for breathing. Since the house is virtually shut, the air does not move without some external force (for instance, a fan) to propel it. Blower fans do the distribution of the air indoors. In a house having a forced-air HVAC system, the air is cooled after it is moved to condenser coils or moved out of the heating components (for example, a furnace) where it is distributed out to different areas after it is conditioned.
Depending on your HVAC system, you may have a fixed or variable fan motor. The fixed motor maintains a steady rate while the variable motor automatically adjusts itself depending on the pressure it will sense. The first kind of motor does not possess quite complicated sets of components to keep it running, and it is usually a less expensive HVAC system. If you happen to own a fixed motor system in your home, you ought to expect it to function harder to redistribute and move air through the available limited spaces.
Why We Do Not Recommend Closing Your HVAC Air Registers
Your Home HVAC System Does Not Work the Way You Might Think
The HVAC system lacks sensors that detect when you shut or open the registers. Therefore, whether it is warm or cool air, the HVAC system will keep using the same energy to produce the same air volume. The system maintains the settings of the thermostat. As long as the setting of the thermostat is not met, the system cannot slow down. In short, the cost of energy will remain the same despite your effort to shut the registers.
Imbalances In Pressure Are Created
When you shut your registers expecting to save energy, you are actually closing the air supply to the register. The return register that removes air from the room needs to remain always open. Since your return register draws air out of the enclosed room, it will create a low-pressure zone. When an area of the low pressure is created, it will force air from outside to seep inside via tiny holes, cracks, or gaps. This will lead to destabilization of the temperature indoors, which, in return, decreases or increases depending on outdoor air temperatures. This situation can also degrade the quality of air, leading to health issues among household members.
Uneven Room Temperature
Your HVAC system contains internal dampers, which will adjust to moderate the volume of air being supplied into every room. The adjustment is necessary for ensuring the HVAC system maintains consistent temperatures through the sufficient volume of airflow. This is not considerate of the distance between the rooms and the blower. When you shut several or one supply register, you disrupt the temperatures and the balance of airflow throughout the system, besides the rooms. This imbalance can lead to too much airflow into the rooms that are close to the blower. Also, there is a lack of airflow in rooms that are far away from the blower.
Increased Risks Of Wear-And-Tear To Your Heating & Cooling System
If you shut the supply vents, you increase static pressure in the ductwork supply. In turn, it increases the pressure in your system blower, making it strain even more. With the continued operation of the system under this stress, it is likely to succumb to wear-and-tear, giving it a reduced lifespan.
What To Do To Reduce Your Home Cooling & Heating Costs
You should first remember that the size of your HVAC system should be based on the measurements and some other aspects of your house. If its size correctly matches your area, it will cool down or heat that specific space appropriately. The system cannot properly function if you lower the space size by closing the vents.
If you expect to maintain a comfortable house and still save some money, you need to use a system that offers zone temperature control. It allows you to divide the home into several zones. You could, for example, classify the upstairs rooms into one zone, while the downstairs and the basement form two other different zones. When you use a zone temperature control system, you can maintain different temperatures in different zones.
One can also adjust the settings of their thermostat to make the HVAC system to operate at a minimum or use fans to circulate the air indoors. Maintain indoor temperature by applying window treatments or leave doors to rooms that are too cold or warm open for an even distribution of air.
One can as well supplement their central HVAC system by installing a ductless HVAC system. The systems will provide zoned control, and one can still have them installed in rooms they use frequently. This way, one can adjust the thermostat to the central HVAC system to operate less and customize the comfort in the rooms they are using the most. You should consult with a reputable HVAC contractor, such as McAllister Energy, to learn more.
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