Homeowners are always looking for ways to save money. Whether it is the summer or the winter, homeowners want a leg up on the energy bill. There are many suggestions out there from your local electric company or HVAC company that can help you save. Whether it is raising your home’s ac temperature in the summer to reduce usage, or buying a variable speed motor for your swimming pool to reduce energy usage, there are ways to save. Does shutting off vents help in the summer? You will see that closing vents will help for a day or so, however, could cause problems.
Let’s take a look below at what shutting off vents can do to your HVAC system.
What Are Air Vents
Air vents are noticed in many places around your home. You could have air vents in your basement (if you have one), floors, walls, or ceilings of the home. In most cases, the air vents have dampers or a way to open and close the vents. If you live in a multi-level home, homeowners will adjust the dampers depending on the need for hot or cold air during the year.
When it comes to the summer months, homeowners will close the dampers on the vents that provide air to rooms that often are not used. This recirculates the cold air to rooms that are frequently used by the homeowner. In many cases, this is not a good idea, as it limits the HVAC system’s ability to properly circulate the air in the home.
Are There Advantages To Shutting Them Off
Saving money is always a big concern amongst homeowners. Making a few small changes to the air vents in the home can often be one of the simplest ways to save on energy bills. Let’s take a look at some advantages.
- Airflow reduction – closing your basement vents and other room vents in the summer can help reduce energy usage in the home.
- Cooling more – in addition to cooling the main rooms of your home, you should also consider installing room-specific ac units or fans.
- Cost Savings – the biggest reason for closing air vents in the summer is to save money on your energy bill. Doing this is a great idea for a few days, however, there are likely better approaches to saving on the energy bill.
If you are looking for some alternatives to closing air vents, go ahead and consider a room dehumidifier. These units can circulate and clean the air in the room while keeping the moisture and humidity in the room to a lower level. This allows you to control the potential for mold and mildew growth. In addition, you can install a dehumidifier that connects to a sump pump for draining. This allows you to not worry about emptying out a water reservoir from the unit.
What Are The Disadvantages To Shutting Off Basement Vents
Many homeowners are looking to save money in any way that is possible. However, closing the air vents in your basement and other rooms of your home could become problematic. Your furnace might struggle to blow the proper air through your home as pressure builds up against the closed air vents. Let’s review the disadvantages.
- Poor airflow – closing vents can limit proper air flow to other areas of the home.
- Hot and cold spots – closed air vents can cause various rooms to be too hot or too cold as the airflow is reduced.
- Noisy air duct – air will bounce off the closed air vents and return back where it came from. This creates noise in the air duct as the air flow creates a whistling sound in the duct work.
- Frozen AC coil – frozen coils as cold air backs up and builds up in the ac unit.
- Increased energy bill – if air is unable to circulate properly which causes the system to work harder and longer.
- Unit damage due to over usage – anytime there is a back up of air, the unit works overtime. This can cause systematic damage.
- Cracked heat exchanger – if the heat exchanger becomes too hot, it can crack. Although this is rare, a cracked heat exchanger is a cause of reduced airflow.
- Air duct leaks – an increase in static pressure due to closed air vents can cause your air ducts to break down and leak.
- Static pressure – caused by dirty air filters, small ductwork, and other damaged ductwork.
Other Recommended Maintenance
One area to keep an eye on for maintenance is the HVAC. An HVAC system lasts typically 10-17 years, depending on if it was installed correctly, maintained, if chemicals are used in the home, or if you live in a coastal area. It is important to make sure it is maintained so you get the most amount of years as possible from the unit.
Another area to take a look at is your furnace. Your furnace keeps you warm in the winter and you want to make sure that it is working properly. One thing is making sure that the furnace is not leaking carbon monoxide. There are many signs such as a yellow or flickering flame, moisture around windows or walls, and rust on the vent pipe. If you see any of these signs, contact a professional right away.
Lastly, one day you may come home to a frozen air conditioning unit. If this happens, you will need to unfreeze it starting with turning off the unit. This can be caused by different things such as ice build up, warm air coming out instead of cold air, and you might hear a hissing sound. You will want to contact a professional for help with this.
When Do I Call A Professional
Calling on a professional HVAC service technician to teach you the best ways to save money with your system is a great idea. Anytime you are dealing with heating and cooling in your home, things can get tricky. Closing one vent in hopes of funneling cold or hot air to a specific room in order to save money could prove to be a bad idea. Before you get an idea like closing dampers on your vents, go ahead and reach out to your local HVAC service technician.
When it comes to saving money on HVAC energy, knowing the best options is key. You wouldn’t want to make a mistake by accidentally damaging your HVAC system. Make sure that you complete yearly maintenance on your HVAC system so that your energy-efficiency rating stays high. Call on your local professional HVAC service technician and they can go over when and how long you can close your air vents.
If you aren’t sure who to call, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can inspect your entire HVAC system before you reach out to a professional HVAC service technician. Call on All Coast Home Inspections for a home inspection in Houston, TX. They can refer you to the most reputable contractors and service companies in the field.