One of the most common questions we get from our customers is in regards to the best ways to save money. How can they lower their energy usage, how can they use their systems more efficiently, and yes even will closing their HVAC vents in unused rooms save them money?
We’ll dive into all of this—but the short answer to “will closing HVAC vents save me money” is no. Actually, this can do more harm than good to your HVAC system, which we will explain in a moment.
The best way to save money starts with having a home energy audit done. This is when our professionals come in and assess where you may be losing energy, whether it’s through drafty windows and doors, damaged air ducts, etc. From there, we can look at the best ways for you to conserve that energy, including informing you of the best HVAC systems for your specific home. Read on to learn more!
Why Closing Vents Does More Harm Than Good
Simply put, your HVAC systems are not designed for this kind of use. At least, that’s the case if we’re talking about a central furnace or a central air conditioner. These systems are designed to distribute a set amount of air throughout the ductwork snaking its way through your home. If you close off one vent, it increases the pressure inside the ductwork, which can lead to air duct tears, and also can cause your system to start “short-cycling.”
Short-cycling is when a system cycles on and off rapidly without ever completing full heating or cooling cycle. Central furnaces and air conditioners are designed to run for 15-minute increments, 2-3 times per hour. If they’re only running for a few minutes and coming on much more often than this, then it’s short-cycling and this is bad for the system. It can exacerbate natural wear and tear and bring up repair and replacement needs far sooner than they would have otherwise occurred.
This doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t a solution! What is that solution, you ask? Actually, there are two!
Consider Zone Control or Ductless Heating and Cooling
Let’s start with zone control heating or cooling. This is when your HVAC system, either your air conditioner or furnace, or both, is set up with dampers within the ductwork to redirect air so that you receive more heating and cooling in certain parts of the home than others.
The reason this is more efficient and does save you energy and subsequently, money is because zone control systems are specifically designed for this purpose, unlike traditional HVAC systems.
The other option is ductless heating and cooling, which saves you even more energy and money. How? Because ductless systems operate on heat pump technology, for starters. This means that they can both heat and cool a home, all from one system. And instead of generating heat in the winter, they transfer heat, which is a much more efficient process.
Additionally, each ductless air handler (there can be up to four per outdoor unit), has its own thermostat and can be controlled independently of the other air handlers in the home, creating zoned heating and cooling by default, but even more effortlessly than a zone control system. And ductless air handlers can be wall-mounted, saving space too!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to learn more.