If you have rooms within your home that are infrequently used, it may seem like a good idea to shut the registers within those rooms to save energy being used to condition those spaces. Does it actually save you any money or energy? The short answer is no, but there are a number of things that contribute to this.
By closing off air registers you do in fact force the air intended to condition one space into another, but it does it at a higher pressure which can force any small leaks in your ductwork due to weak connections to widen and worsen. Replacing ductwork or needing extensive repair work is far more costly than any minimal savings you may get from redirecting your airflow.
Another thing to consider is that whether those closed off spaces are receiving conditioned air or not, those spaces are still getting air pulled from them as part of your HVAC’s return function. By not allowing new air in, your system will pull return air from any available source. Often this means that any leaks of exterior air will be the leading supply for that room. This effects the efficiency of your system and may cause extra energy to condition the outside air.
HVAC systems are built with a specific square footage in mind. By closing off rooms you are effectively causing your unit to be oversized for your needs. This may not sound like a bad thing, however your system will be using more energy than what is needed because of its size. It can also cause uneven conditioning and strained components over time.
If you have rooms you consistently don’t want conditioned, you may want to consider speaking to a local HVAC technician about a zoning system for your home. Essentially zoning systems are HVAC systems which have been designed to designate conditioning based upon predetermined zones within your home. They are able to condition certain areas based on your particular needs. If you do not have a zoning system, make sure that your registers are open at least a bit and not completely closed. This will help to ease the burden on your system.
To speak to a Gainesville, Florida local expert technician today about this or any other issues with your HVAC, call Dayton Heating and Air at 352-474-COOL.