There is some old, but misleading advice out there that states you should close the air conditioning vents in any room you aren’t using. With this being said, you should know that it will help to reduce your energy costs, because you are only cooling the rooms you use. Even though this sounds good in theory, it may have the opposite effect – or worse.
If you close the vents, at best it will increase energy consumption, and, at worst, it can lead to the premature breakdown of your entire air conditioning unit.
Some of the reasons this may happen can be found here.
Closing Your Vents Restricts the Airflow
When your AC unit was initially installed (assuming that it was done properly) the airflow was completely “balanced.” This means the people installing the unit make sure your AC system had enough air flow in and out to cool the home properly.
Closing the vents will disrupt this balance and create pressure in the system. This results in your air conditioner having to work harder. In the long run, it can increase your energy costs and lead to your unit breaking down sooner than it should.
Your Air Ducts Make the Situation Worse
The increased pressure caused by closing some of the vents in your home will also place additional strain on your home’s air ducts. And because many homes’ air ducts are actually already leaking, the increased pressure can result in the ducts leaking even more.
As a result, the air you thought you were saving by closing the vents is actually going into your crawlspace or the attic.
This means your rooms are going to have no cool air, and you won’t be saving money because your AC is still working just as hard to cool your home – and now your attic or crawlspace, too.
There’s No Insulation in Your Interior Walls
Another reason you should avoid closing AC vents in rooms you aren’t using is if your interior walls aren’t properly insulated – or insulated at all.
Here is why that is such a big deal.
If you close vents in two rooms, they will become warmer since the AC won’t be cooling them. The heat will move into the rooms nearby through your walls that have no insulation and under the door. Now, your AC must run longer and harder to keep the rest of your home cooled.
As you can see, it doesn’t make sense to close vents in the rooms you aren’t using. In fact, you may be cause more harm than good if you follow this advice.
If you are looking for ways that you can save on your energy costs, speak with the professionals. They can provide you with an energy audit and show you where you can cut costs. This will result in more savings than closing vents, and not have any negative consequences on your air conditioning unit.