Heating is one of the home’s biggest energy users and can contribute to high energy bills in the winter months. This leaves many homeowners looking for ways they can save. One of the most obvious ways energy is wasted is by heating rooms that aren’t in use. Intuitively, it would seem that shutting off a room from your forced air heating system could be a good way to prevent heating from going to waste, but it turns out there are side effects that make it a bad idea.
The main reason shutting off a room doesn’t work is that your home’s ductwork was designed with the whole house in mind. There are both supply and return vents, so shutting off the supply registers can cause problems with pressure in both the ductwork and rooms that are being shut off. The supply ductwork will have excessively high pressures that will waste heated air by allowing it to escape out any leaks that are present. On the other hand, the return vent will have low pressure and cold air will be prone to getting sucked in through any leaks that are present. Pressure in the room will similarly cause problems with it being prone to exchanging air with the exterior through any cracks that are present.
Shutting vents can also decrease the efficiency of the furnace itself. Furnaces are designed to operate with a certain amount of airflow and the air handler may struggle to provide enough airflow if vents are closed. Low airflow can also cause problems with ice developing in your ducts during especially cold weather. Similarly, ice could develop on the windows of the shut off room, which can cause moisture problems when it melts.
If you’d like to save energy by shutting off a room, you’ll want to talk to an HVAC professional that can offer solutions that will avoid these pitfalls, such as a zoned system that will save you money in the summer too. For help in Baltimore, Frederick, Hagerstown or surrounding areas, contact the experienced experts at Griffith Energy Services. We’ve been providing dependable HVAC services for over 100 years.
Written by Kevin Spain