Let’s take a moment to debunk a major AC myth: closing registers in unused rooms is a good idea. This has been said to lower energy bills by only cooling the rooms in your home that you use. Sure, in theory it sounds like it’s a good idea. However, closing registers can not only increase your energy consumption but can also lead to premature breakdown of your AC system. Here’s why…

Closed vents can restrict airflow. When your air conditioner was installed, the technicians “balanced” the airflow, meaning they made sure the unit had enough air flowing in and out to properly cool your home. When the vents are closed, this balance is disrupted and additional pressure is put on the system. This causes your air conditioner to work harder which means higher energy bills.

Air pressure can strain your air ducts. The increased pressure caused by closed vents also places strain on your air ducts. In order to reduce this pressure, the blower has to work harder and forces air into the duct system. This increased pressure will cause leaks in the air ducts and can make existing leaks bigger. In addition, the forced air will escape into crawlspaces or attics, so the air you thought you were closing off, is actually just going somewhere else.

Since interior walls are usually not insulated, closing vents in a room will obviously make the room warmer. The resulting heat will transfer through the walls, under doors and into nearby rooms. To compensate for the warmer air, your AC unit has to work harder to keep the rooms cool. This can lead to a breakdown and raise energy consumption.

Closing registers can also lead to the following:

  • Lower airflow with PSC blowers
  • Increased energy use with ECM blowers
  • Comfort issues because of low airflow
  • Frozen air conditioner coil
  • Dead compressor
  • Cracked heat exchanger (this can lead to carbon monoxide in your home!)
  • Increased risk of mold and mildew production

There are plenty of ways to save money on energy bills but closing the vents in your home is not one of them. If you are interested in learning more about how you can extend the life of your AC system, lower your energy consumption and save money on utility bills, please call the Comfort Consultants at Northeast Florida Heating & Air today at 904-783-7003.

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