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Redirecting Your Home’s Air by Closing Vents May Not Be the Best Solution

Redirecting Your Home's Air by Closing Vents May Not Be the Best SolutionThere are a lot of suggestions for saving household energy these days, especially as utility costs increase. Some of these work better than others do for your Fresno area home. One common suggestion is to close off registers in unused parts of your home. This used to be true, but with modern HVAC systems, it can actually create more problems, and end up making your utility bills go up instead of down.

For one thing, closing registers or vents in an unused room doesn’t to anything to stop the airflow from the HVAC system. That air is still heading through the ductwork toward the closed-off room. Blocked at the closed vent, the air will force open weak connections in ducts and end up in areas that you don’t need to heat, such as crawlspaces and wall cavities.

Another unintended consequence of closing air vents is that the return air register in those rooms will remain open, sucking the air out of the room. This depressurization results in cold outside air rushing into the room however it can, including through cracks and openings around windows. That cold air eventually will infiltrate adjoining rooms, making your heating system work harder to compensate.

Finally, most residential forced-air systems are carefully sized and calibrated to match the size and layout of a home. When you close off rooms, this throws those calculations out the window, so to speak, and you’ll end up with unbalanced conditioning in other rooms, as well as wasted energy.

An efficient alternative to closing air vents is a zoning system. This system is common in businesses, where each area has its own thermostat. You can use this same technology in your home to help lower your utility bills. With a zoning system, you can adjust the temperature for each section of your home, according to your needs.

Besides a zoning system, you can use programmable thermostats to automatically raise and lower the temperature of your house depending on your daily and weekly schedules. This can have reduce your energy bills when used properly.

For more expert information about saving energy and other home comfort related questions, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We have been proudly serving the Fresno area for over 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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