Anyone who lives in a place with temperature extremes understands the importance of balancing comfort and budget. Though it may be tempting to turn the air conditioner up to a gale-force Arctic breeze during the hottest days of summer, or to crank the heater to Death Valley levels for the chilly winter, consumers know that a steady hand on the thermostat will save them money in the end. Instead, they may look for other ways to achieve the balance between their cold feet and their pocketbooks.
For many, economical climate control for the home may include closing the vents or registers in unused rooms. The belief that preventing air flow to one room will require less of the system and will divert conditioned air to rooms that need it may seem a natural assumption, but it is also an incorrect one. Closing the vents to unused rooms will not save you money, and in fact can end up costing you more money in the long run.
A Place to Vent – Your HVAC System Registers
Your vents, or registers to some, serve more purpose than to provide an opening through which your HVAC system can force conditioned air into your home. These ducts and vents serve to create a balanced system of airflow from the HVAC unit to the various parts of your home. This airflow is carefully calibrated to work with the system as a whole to provide consistent pressure and temperatures throughout the house.
Even the most advanced HVAC systems have issues detecting the change. Unless you have purchased a system specifically designed to create variable temperatures in different rooms, such as a split system, your HVAC unit does not know when you have closed one of the vents. As such, it does not change its operation to compensate. This can create issues within the climate control in your home.
Disrupting the Flow
HVAC systems are designed to utilize all vents and registers when forcing air through your home and draw it into the system again through return vents. When one of the registers is closed, the system does not know to stop drawing air out of that room through the returns. This can create pressure imbalances in your home. A depressurized room will seek to equalize its pressure through other means, often by drawing outside air through gaps in windows or cracks in masonry. This will adversely affect your climate control and air quality.
Unequal air pressure can also create large temperature discrepancies in your home. The HVAC system is designed to work with your home as a whole, depending on pressure in one area of the home to create air flow that leads to other rooms. When you disrupt this air flow by closing a register, rooms closer to the blowers may be warmer than rooms at the extremities, which may become unpleasantly cold.
Unbalanced air can also create pressure the ductwork was not designed to withstand. This creates wear and tear on the ducts, and will force you to undertake expensive repairs sooner than you would have otherwise. Also, the additional stress on vents as they are constantly adjusted can also create damage.
If you find you want the flexibility of turning off air flow to certain rooms, or increasing it in others, contact Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning today! We will be glad to discuss the latest options in climate control technology with you to find a system that meets your needs.