Want to save money this summer? If you have a big house, it makes sense to close vents when your air conditioner is running. After all, you rarely go into the guest bedroom. The kids’ bedrooms sit empty now that they’re off at school. Why should you pay to keep rooms cool you rarely walk by and never enter?
It may seem like a good thing to do, but closing vents actually makes your air conditioner work harder.
Why closing vents doesn’t work
When your house was initially built, ductwork was installed throughout to create a dynamic system. Not only was it designed to allow warm and cool air to be delivered to each room, but it also creates a system that is balanced and well pressured. For a furnace and air conditioner to work properly, this is key.
If everything is in good working condition, the HVAC system won’t have problems. But if you change the flow – close vents – your system has to counter it in some way.
Closing a vent increases pressure within the ductwork. As that pressure builds, it begins to leak from somewhere. It pushes against seams, causes cracks within the system, and pushes back on the equipment itself.
Over time, that causes more serious problems. It can break various parts, leading to costly repair bills. And it can decrease the lifespan of your equipment.
What you should do instead
If you’re looking for ways to save money on your utility bill each month, the best place to start is with a maintenance visit from one of our technicians. Ensure your equipment is in great shape and working its best.
Then look to your thermostat for even more control. Do you have a programmable thermostat? It ensures you only heat or cool your home when you’re truly there to enjoy it, adjusting it for when you won’t be at home.
You may also wish to upgrade to more efficient equipment. If your air conditioner is reaching end of life, being proactive can save you money by being able to select it on your time, rather than in an emergency on the hottest day of the year. Newer units are more efficient; you’ll notice the difference on your very first energy bill.
Is your air conditioner working as well as it should?