Stay Comfy Blog

Should I Be Closing Vents to Warm Up Other Rooms in My House?

closing ventsThe upstairs is too warm, the downstairs is too cool, and the basement is flat-out cold! Sometimes it can feel like a constant effort to keep home temperatures balanced. That’s when homeowners think that closing vents to redirect airflow can help. But that’s not really a good idea. Here’s why.

Your HVAC System is Designed for Optimal Air Flow

Today’s HVAC systems are precisely designed to accommodate the right amount of airflow for the size homes they’re installed in. That means the ductwork size, location, configuration, and the amount, size, and placement of registers and grilles are all calculated to direct the right volume of air where it’s needed.

The HVAC professionals who took all those factors into consideration were exact in designing your system — it’s not oversized or undersized — it’s just right for your home.

The Importance of Proper Airflow

All the effort that goes into designing your HVAC system is so that it provides the exact airflow needed to heat and cool your home. Your system’s airflow is regulated to distribute warm air to compensate for heat loss during the heating season and cool air to offset heat gain during the cooling season. Closing off air vents will only disrupt that airflow — it will not redirect it to another room or otherwise compensate for heat loss or gain. And it can cost you in the long run.

Closing Air Vents Can Increase Your Energy Bill

Some homeowners reason that if they close vents in unused rooms, that will save on heating or cooling costs by cutting down on how hard the furnace or air conditioner is working. But it doesn’t. Your furnace or AC will continue to work the same amount, but the air pressure in the system will increase. That increased air pressure has to go somewhere, so it is often forced out of small leaks in the system — or could even create leaks in the system. That means that warm or cool air simply escapes from your home. At the same time, your system may actually run longer to do its job. All of which means extra energy spent — energy that you’ll pay for at the end of the month.

Closing Air Vents Can Damage Your System

Another risk you take if you upset your airflow balance by closing off registers is that you may create a “low airflow” condition.

Your furnace and air conditioner both require a minimum degree of airflow through their components in order to work properly and efficiently. If that airflow is reduced below the minimum, it can damage your furnace or air conditioner. The furnace can overheat and the AC coil can freeze, either of which will shut down your system and require significant repairs.

Basic Maintenance is a Better Way to Go

If you feel your system isn’t working efficiently or providing the comfort you need, take the time to do a little basic maintenance. Start by changing your filters and making sure your units are clean and free of dust and debris. If you’re still not happy with your system’s performance, it may be time to call in the pros for a routine checkup.

Use our convenient dealer locator to find a reliable HVAC professional in your area.

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