Fact or Fiction: Closing Air Vents in Unused Rooms Saves Energy?

does closing air vents lower energy costs?

It’s estimated that half of a home energy bills go to heating and cooling.

Due to this fact, many homeowners are willing to try all sorts of tricks and tips to cut their energy costs. Many people have a room or two in their homes that don’t get used on a regular basis, and closing the vents in these unused rooms is often suggested as a way to save money.

Unfortunately, this is a common misconception.

While closing vents does prevent air from entering a room, it actually pushes excess air to other places in the house. Despite how many vents you have open, the air conditioner or heating system produces the same amount of air, expending the same amount of energy in the process.

Your system, if professionally installed, is manufactured to be balanced and by closing off unused vents your system becomes unbalanced.

As result, certain issues can arise from closing off vents. The added pressure that gets put on your system can actually cause air leaks in your ductwork. This can cause unnecessary and long term energy waste. When your system has an air leak, it has to work harder to heat or cool your home, leading to costly repairs and inefficient operations.

Another issue with closing unused vents is that your air conditioner continues to heat and cool at the same rate, so the buildup of pressure may cause the system to run longer and work harder, which is not economically efficient.

The bottom line: Leave all vents open and let your system operate in the balanced way that it should.