In theory, the idea of shutting an unused room to save energy makes sense. But does this practice really work, and is it a good idea? According to HVAC professionals, in most homes, the answer is no. In fact, in some cases, shutting an unused room to save energy can actually increase energy bills and cause other problems.
The practice doesn’t work mostly because a home’s HVAC system includes more than just heating vents. The closed-off rooms also have cold air returns that will continue to pull cold air in and reduce air pressure in the room, so that more cold air will rush into the room through cracks and gaps in windows and doors in order to equalize the pressure. In addition, even though the supply vents are closed, heated air – when it can’t enter the room – will force open weak ductwork connections and leak into unconditioned areas.
Shutting an unused room to save energy can create other problems and increase repair bills. Modern HVAC systems are designed and installed with your home’s square footage and other calculations in mind. Closed vents can create obstructions and limit air flow, which will make the furnace work harder. Additionally, this can cause cracking and warping to walls, window and door frames, flooring and wood furniture in the closed off, unheated room.
For energy-saving alternatives to shutting an unused room to save energy, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We can do a thorough inspection and evaluate your home to find effective ways to lower heating bills, such as adding or replacing insulation, sealing ar leaks, and upgrading HVAC equipment to energy-efficient models.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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