It seems like a simple way to save energy and reduce your heating and cooling bill – just close the vents and doors in rooms that are unoccupied. After all, guest rooms, bedrooms and basements make up a significant amount of space and you're just wasting energy, right? Here's why this is not a good idea. When your central heating, cooling and ventilation system was installed the amount of air volume of the home was carefully calculated to match the size of the furnace and air conditioner. Cutting off sections of your home from the ventilation system does not make the the system work less, it simply sends the same amount of conditioned air to the remaining air ducts and vents throughout your home. Add to this the fact that a typical home's ductwork loses 20-30% of conditioned air though leaks, and even more energy is being wasted.
Closing air vents and doors also increases the pressure inside the air ducts, which in turn makes the blower fan work harder to force the air through. The result is an increased risk of the AC evaporator coil freezing or the furnace's heat exchanger overheating. The important point to remember is that your home's heating and cooling is designed to work as a system, with all the air volume available. Closing one or two air registers is not going to cause significant issues, but for each vent that is closed remember that the performance of your central heating and cooling system is being diminished.
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