Should I Close Vents in Unused Rooms Cut AC Bills?

Summer is coming and consumers will try to save money on their MD electricity bills. Find out if you can really cut your AC bills when you close vents in an unused room.

Do You Save Money If You Close Vents?

If you close vents in an unused room, can you really save money? Learn the truth behind this energy myth.
Does your home use less electricity if you close vents in unused rooms? We break down the facts to find out.

Hot summer days are right around the corner. That means many homes are getting ready to fire up their AC units. And some are looking to old energy myths to cut down on their high electricity bills. But should you follow suit and close your vents in unused rooms to cut your AC bills?

The Close Vents to Save AC Myth

EIA estimates that in 2022 space cooling made up 6% of US residential electricity use. So it’s natural that many energy customers want to cut costs, especially during the hot summer months. And one old myth suggests that closing vents in unused rooms could help lower energy costs.

After all, central HVAC works by sending cool air through all the rooms of your home. So if you close off vents, wouldn’t that make your HVAC system run less?

While that may make sense, it isn’t the best way to save energy or money?

How Closed Vents Affect AC Bills

First, closing your vents will make the AC unit to run longer than normal. Rooms with closed vents will get much hotter than the rest of your home adding to your heat load. That’s because As closed off rooms heat up, the warmed air will circulate through the return vents to be cooled. So, your system will have to run longer. And your AC unit won’t know that you don’t need those rooms cooled. After all, it only detects the temperature where you set your thermostat.

Second, the HVAC system’s blower will pump the same volume of air through your ducts whether the vents are closed or not. And the air has to go somewhere, so more will get pushed through to other rooms. That doesn’t mean that those other rooms will cool faster. Nor does it mean they will stay cool longer, either. Plus, the added pressure can beat on your ducts causing leaks in your duct work. As you can guess, leaks in your duct work lead to energy loss. And keep in mind that ductwork repair and replacement isn’t cheap.

Third, pressure balance is vital for making HVAC systems properly circulate the air. HVAC systems have both supply (blow) and return (suck) ducts. As cooled air enters a room through a supply duct, other air is pulled out of the room through the return duct. Ideally, the volumes should be the same. But closing vents can change that balance. So, the system can’t circulate air the way it’s designed to. Some rooms may get too cold, others may not be able to cool very well.

Right Way to Cut AC Bills

So if closing vents doesn’t work, then how do you stay cool in the summer without hurting your HVAC system?

First, consider that air leaks reduce cooling efficiency by as much as 20% in most homes. So proper duct sealing work will improve air quality, enhance comfort, and save you money. Next, consider proper home insulation can keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Finally, try turning your thermostat back 7-8 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% on annual energy costs.

Lastly electricity rates usually rise during the summer months. We all want to save money on summer cooling costs. You can always save by shopping cheap rates Not only can you read real customer reviews, you can also compare plans, rates, and find ways to save money on your electric bills.

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