Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Shutting a Room to Save Energy: Bad Idea or Smart Thinking?

Many people assume that shutting a room to save energy will also save some money in monthly bills. Contrary to what may seem like a perfectly logical idea, shutting off rooms can actually do just the opposite.Shutting a Room to Save Energy: Bad Idea or Smart Thinking?

When the heating and cooling system for your home is installed, many factors are taken into account to determine the most efficient system design, including the overall size of the home, the number and locations of the rooms, the number of floors, the amount of people living there, and the climate. An appropriately sized heating system is then installed, with ducting, vents and air returns to create a balanced system.

When you close the supply vents to an unused room, it can cause several problems. First, it creates a physical blockage at that heating register, raising the pressure inside the air ducts. If there are any weak connections in the heating and cooling ducts, the conditioned air will then leak out into unwanted areas, such as the voids between floors, wasting energy. Second, the intake will still be drawing in air, and that could allow a negative pressure to build in room. This will allow unconditioned and dirty outside air to be sucked in through any possible leaks, such as around windows.

Furthermore, shutting a room to save energy can cause the blower of your system to work harder against the increased duct pressure. This can shorten the blower’s life and also waste electricity. Finally, an unheated room can actually be damaged by cold temperatures. Vinyl flooring can crack and peel. Wood flooring may contract, showing the joints, and possibly warp. Small cracks in plaster may expand in the cold. Excessively warm temperatures in a room – a more common issue in our part of Southwest Arizona – can also cause damage to figures, furnishings and belongings.

Instead of shutting a room to save energy, consider the other ways your home can be made more energy efficient, such as sealing air ducts and outside walls, as well as checking the quality of your insulation. For more ideas to save money on your heating and cooling costs, please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Co. We have been serving the Yuma area since 1952.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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