Many people believe that closing air vents in unused rooms will make their homes more energy efficient. The truth is, this won’t conserve energy or save money; it can actually make a system inefficient. When a vent, or register, is closed, the system must work harder. This can lead to issues with your HVAC system that lead to costly repairs. Here are five problems closed air vents can cause to help you avoid them.
1. HVAC SYSTEM DAMAGE
By closing off too many vents, you can restrict airflow to the point the evaporator coil freezes. A frozen coil will damage the compressor, which can be an expensive repair or replacement job. If the compressor fails, then you probably won’t get any cool air. Any HVAC damage will prevent your air conditioner from working properly; a lack of airflow can even cause your furnace to overheat.
2. LESS EFFICIENCY
Even if the A/C is properly sized for your home, closing the vents can reduce efficiency. The same amount of air is flowing through the system, except more air is forced through other ducts. This can increase the pressure in the ductwork and cause the system to work harder, which can lead to HVAC damage. An overworked system uses more energy and can lead to higher utility bills. It also increases wear and tear and the risk of needing HVAC repair or replacement much sooner.
3. DUCT LEAK
Increased pressure within the ductwork can cause an air duct to leak or, even worse, burst. Heated or cooled air won’t reach rooms, but may become trapped in places you don’t need it, such as the attic. If there are smaller leaks or connection problems that haven’t been addressed, the pressure can cause them to get worse. Homes lose up to 30% of the air in their duct systems due to leaks, holes, and poor connections, according to Energy Star.
4. CARBON MONOXIDE RISK
Closed air vents can cause the heat exchanger in your furnace to crack. It can then release carbon monoxide, a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that can kill anyone who is exposed to it. A carbon monoxide problem can be avoided by keeping your vents open and installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
5. MOLD GROWTH
Closed vents can lead to air being too cold. The contrast in temperature can lead to condensation, and any excess moisture can support mold growth. Leaving all the vents open helps control moisture and prevents mold spores from circulating. If you notice the musty smell of mold or see it growing near or in your vents, contact a professional to inspect your ductwork and address the problem.
CONCLUSION: DO NOT CLOSE YOUR AIR VENTS
Leaving all HVAC vents open improves indoor comfort and can avoid the cost of repairs. While closing one air vent won’t cause immediate harm, the odds of damage increase with each vent that’s closed. There are better alternatives to improving efficiency. Regular maintenance, installing a programmable thermostat, using a ceiling fan, and proper use of window coverings can have many benefits. You may also want to consider a more efficient unit or even a multi-zone HVAC system.
CONTACT THE AC HERO
The AC Hero is an HVAC installation company you can trust when you need AC repair or replacement. We are open during the coronavirus pandemic and provide no contact service with social distancing. One of the leading HVAC contractors in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, we are conveniently located in North Richland Hills. Contact us today to schedule service by a licensed technician.