Closing Air Vents in Your Edwardsville Home? Think About This First

Posted On: December 12, 2013

Closing air vents in a room in your home that’s seldom used during the winter in most cases will not save energy. This is surprising news for many people who may close off the forced-air heating vents to an unused spare bedroom, bathroom or storage area during the winter months in Edwardsville, Glen Carbon and other parts of Metro East Illinois.

A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that closing air vents in unused rooms actually made the heating system work harder since it was still trying to push warm air through the closed vents. This did not save energy.

Air Pressure and Energy

When you close off the supply air vents in a room, the return vent or register is still sucking air into the return ductwork. This depressurizes the room, which causes outside air to rush inside through cracks and openings in windows or doors. The colder outside air will find its way into adjoining rooms as well, forcing your heating system to work harder.

Warm air that’s blown toward the closed-off room will force open weak connections in ductwork and back up into the basement or crawlspace, so it’s not going where it’s needed. This wasted heat increases the need for the heating system to work harder to compensate.

Other Options

Since heat rises, air vents in upper-floor rooms can be partially closed to reroute more air to cooler downstairs rooms. However, some warm air must still be allowed through. Heating vents in the lower part of the home should always be completely open. A ceiling fan, adjusted to the fan blades are rotating clockwise, can help distribute warm air throughout the house, keeping the air from collecting near the ceiling where it’s not doing anybody any good.

If you want a room permanently sealed off, please contact us at Ernst Heating and Cooling, professional heating experts, to seal off ducts to that room while adjusting airflow. You do not want to compromise the heat distribution in the remaining rooms.

Consider upgrading your heating system with zoned heating that can control the level of heat in each section of your home. Please contact us at Ernst Heating and Cooling, serving Edwardsville, Bethalto, Highland and other Southwest Illinois communities since 1954.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

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