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Should I Close Vents in Unused Rooms? Myth Busting for Bay Area Homeowners

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If you search the Internet for ways to save energy at home, one suggestion that you might come across is to close the supply vents in unused rooms. This might sound like a good idea at first, but the truth is that it can have some seriously negative consequences on your home. Today we’re going to do a little bit of myth busting by answering the question, “Should I close vents in unused rooms?”

Your heating and cooling system is designed to operate under specific conditions

Your furnace and air conditioner work by pulling in air from the rooms in your home (through the return vents) and cycling that air back to those rooms (through the supply vents) after the air has been conditioned. By consuming and expelling the same amount of air, the pressure inside of your ductwork is supposed to be balanced.
When your heating and cooling system is running, it is assuming that it is providing conditioned air to yourentire home. If you close off the vents in a particular room, your furnace or air conditioner still assumes that it is supplying air to every room in your home. As a result, the pressure inside of your ducts increases because your system is supplying more air than is actually being delivered.

What happens if I close vents in unused rooms?

By raising the pressure inside of your ducts, closing off vents in unused rooms can have the following consequences:

A better alternative to closing vents in unused rooms

Instead of closing off vents in unused rooms, a smarter way to save energy is to install a zoning system in your home. With a zoning system, you can section off parts of your home that are not used as often and have them conditioned separately from the rest of your home. This will get the effect that you were looking for by closing off vents, except it won’t throw off the pressure balance in your ducts.
If you have any questions about closing vents in unused rooms, or if you’d like a heating and cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your Bay Area plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor.

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