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HVAC Myths: Does closing air vents in unused rooms helps to save energy?

In our series “HVAC Myths,” we debunk common misconceptions about heating and air that homeowners everywhere have believed for years!

The Myth:

This week we are debunking the common misconception that if you close the air vents in unused rooms, it will help to lower energy costs. The truth is that doing this can actually cause more harm than good to both your energy bills and your HVAC repairs budget. Read on to find out how and for other tips to lower your energy bills.


The Facts:

Regardless of how many air vents are open, your unit will produce the same amount of air. HVAC systems are designed very carefully so that the amount of air the unit is pulling into your system matches the volume of air being blown out of the vents throughout your home. The added pressure from one or more closed vents causes the unit to work harder, which can increase energy costs and eventually lead to the system needing major repairs.


The Lesson:

The most common of these repair needs that we see are leaks in the ductwork throughout the home.  Leaked air means slower airflow. If the air flow is slowed down enough, the evaporator coil in the unit can freeze, which could in turn destroy the rest of your system.


Instead of trying to close off air vents in certain rooms of your home to save on energy costs, it’s better to look for ways to heat/cool your entire home more efficiently.  Most experts believe that setting your heat at 68 degrees in the winter and the air at 78 degrees in the summer will significantly help to lower energy bills. This is because each degree warmer in winter or cooler in summer can affect energy costs up to six percent!


Some other ways to save on energy costs would be to:

  • clean your A/C unit and/or get it inspected
  • unplug unused electrical devices (they still use electricity when plugged in)
  • switch ceiling fan directions to counter-clockwise to force cooler air down
  • caulk around windows and doorways to seal air in
  • check your roof and siding for damage from winter storms.


All of these tips and tricks are much safer alternatives to saving on energy costs without damaging your heating/cooling system. If you would like to schedule an inspection and/or cleaning of your unit, we would love to assist you! Visit us online or give us a call at 1-800-404-0371 to speak with a comfort specialist today.

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