Can You Close Your Heating Vents?
For many people, their heating systems cause the upstairs of their house to get too warm in the winter, while people on the first level are too cold. No one wants to go to the basement since it is downright freezing! No matter how you adjust your thermostat throughout the day or night, you can’t seem to properly regulate the temperature in various parts of your home. At this point, many people are tempted to close vents in certain rooms, hoping to redirect that heated air into other more needy parts of the house.
While closing vents may seem like an ingenious quick fix to a problem, it’s usually not the best idea for your HVAC system. Here’s why.
HVAC Systems are Set for Optimal Air Flow
In today’s day and age, companies meticulously design HVAC systems to ensure that the exact amount of airflow is right for the size home in which they are installed. Many factors go into this equation, including the size of the ductwork, the amount and locations of registers and vents, the configuration of vents, and more. Your HVAC should put out the right volume of airflow for ALL of the vents in your home.
HVAC professionals will take all of these factors into account when designing your system to ensure it is not at all too big or small for the size of your home. Closing vents can throw off the balance intended for your system.
Your HVAC system should also be properly regulated to provide the exact amount of airflow for each part of your home. When it’s cold and your house experiences heat loss, your system should be regulated to provide just enough airflow to distribute the right amount of warm air in each room. The same is true for cold air in the summertime. If you close a vent, you disrupt that carefully calibrated airflow.
Contrary to popular belief, closing a vent in one room will not automatically redirect and redistribute air to other rooms. It will also not compensate for heat loss in other parts of the house.
Higher Energy Costs
Some people may also believe that closing vents in one room will save them money, as that room is not being heated during that time. They assume that without an open vent, the furnace will not have to work as much to heat that particular room. However, these same people are often shocked when they receive a higher energy bill.
This happens because your furnace will not work less simply because you closed a vent. It keeps working as if the vent were open and to provide the regulated airflow to that closed-off room. For this reason, a closed vent may cause an increase in air pressure in your HVAC system. The air being produced has to go somewhere, and it is often pushed out through small leans in your system that you didn’t know you had. Sometimes, this air pressure can create new leaks. So the air is not being redirected to other rooms but instead, escaping your house entirely, doing nothing to change the temperature of your home.
While you are losing warm air, your HVAC system may be working harder and longer to achieve your desired temperature in your home. The HVAC will use more energy with less effectiveness. You are paying for all of this and it will show up on your energy bill.
You Can Cause Damage
Closing a vent may seem like a harmless decision. That is, until your HVAC starts acting up and you realize damage has occurred. When you close off one or more vents, you may create a “low airflow” condition.
Your HVAC system needs to have a certain amount of airflow moving through its components for it to continue to function efficiently and properly. If the volume of airflow drops below the minimum standard, your furnace may overheat or your air conditioner coli may freeze. Both of these can cause serious damage to your system and you may need significant repairs.
Regularly Maintain Your HVAC for Better Regulation
If you believe that your HVAC system is not providing the comfort you want in each area of your home, don’t simply take matters into your own hands by closing vents. Instead, practice basic maintenance to ensure the system is running as efficiently as possible. Change your filter, ensure there is no dust or dirt buildup in your vents, and other simple tasks. If this does not solve the problem, you should contact an HVAC professional who can look into the matter more closely.
Contact a Big Bear Heating Technician Today
If you’re experiencing any problems with your heating system, our professionals at Bear Valley Plumbing and Heating are ready to help. Call 909-584-4376 or contact us through our website to schedule an appointment.