There are many ways to cut the energy bills in your Layton, Utah home. However, closing the upstairs air vents isn’t one of them. Like most homeowners, you may have unused rooms or zones throughout your residence that you’re constantly heating or cooling. Although cutting off the supply of heated or conditioned air to these spaces might seem like a good idea, it can actually wind up costing you far more money than it saves. Keep reading to find out why.
Closing Air Vents Is Bad for the Entire HVAC System
Closing HVAC air vents in zones that aren’t occupied doesn’t actually reduce the amount of energy that your home heating or cooling equipment is using. In fact, it does quite the opposite. When one or more vents are closed, air pressure builds up in the system’s ductwork. This forces heaters and air conditioners to work a lot harder than they normally would. It also causes increased wear and tear. If you selectively close vents throughout your Layton home, your energy bills will either remain the same or become higher. You’ll also find yourself paying far more to repair minor HVAC issues as increased air pressure causes various components to break down.
Several Problems That Commonly Occur as the Result of Closed Air Vents
When you close off HVAC air vents during the summer, extra pressure in your ductwork could result in leaky ducts and other forms of damage. In winter, this same issue will exist, but you’ll face the additional risk of a broken heat exchanger. When a heating unit’s heat exchanger cracks it will often turn itself off automatically. Moreover, it won’t turn back on until the problem has been fixed. In the unlikely event that the heater continues to operate, everyone in the home could be exposed to potentially deadly carbon monoxide gases. Paying to have a cracked heat exchanger replaced can be costly. It can also be incredibly inconvenient if the heat exchanger cracks during an especially long stretch of severe winter weather.
One of the most common issues caused by closed HVAC air vents is a greatly diminished equipment lifespan. The additional wear and tear resulting from increased pressure throughout the HVAC system really adds up. Thus, not only will you achieve less than impressive savings by closing your upstairs air vents, but you can also end up having to replace your home heating and cooling equipment long before expected.
Effective Ways to Cut Your Home Heating and Cooling Costs
There are far more effective ways to save both energy and money during times of extreme weather. If you’re worried about the costs of heating or cooling spaces that aren’t being used, invest in a smart thermostat. Just like programmable thermostats, smart thermostats can be set to adjust their temperature settings according to the comings and goings of building residents. However, these devices are also constantly collecting user data and learning from it. Over time, they’re able to streamline HVAC operations for optimum efficiency. They’re also Wi-Fi enabled. This means that you can make thermostat adjustments from work or from any other location using a connected device.
You can also pay for regular HVAC system tune-ups and inspections. Regularly changing out air filters and having professionals perform other forms of maintenance will ensure superior performance all year long. HVAC technicians can additionally help you identify areas of air loss and seal them up. Sealing gaps and cracks around all windows and doors can make a huge difference in your monthly energy bills. You can even add more attic insulation if needed or choose insulation with a higher R-value.
Have Your Central HVAC System Zoned for Efficiency
There’s also the option of having your central HVAC system zoned. Rather than being set up to cool or heat your entire home uniformly, a zoned HVAC system can be used to selectively heat or cool rooms that are actively in use. Best of all, zoned central heating and cooling systems offer this level of adaptability without causing excess air pressure in the ductwork, accelerating normal wear, or putting you at risk of a cracked heat exchanger.
At Smedley Service, we’ve been servicing the Greater Layton area since 1947. We offer reliable heating, cooling, plumbing, and indoor air quality services. If you want help increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system, we’re here to provide it. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment.