If I Close Room Vents, Will This Cuts Down on Cooling Costs?

room-ventSometimes, it seems as if our hot weather will never take a break. August signals the tail end of summer, but it’s the “dog days,” and that often means streaks of days that are 90°F and above in Texas. And if you’re starting to grow wearied of seeing high air conditioning bills, you may take the step of closing the metal shutters of some of the room vents. It means less air used in cooling down the house, so won’t that save money on your bills?

The short answer is: No, it won’t.

And the slightly longer answer is: No it won’t, and it may cost you more—including repairs for damage your air conditioner will suffer!

Now for the much longer answer

The shutters found in the covers over many rooms vent, which you can manipulate using levers, are not there to permit the closing off airflow. The purpose they serve is to control which direction air move as it passes into a room. For the most part, there’s no reason to change the shutters.

Trying to close the shutters all the way isn’t a fully effective seal, but it is strong enough to create trouble through the rest of the HVAC system. The motor that powers the blower fan in the air handler of your HVAC system is designed to push against a maximum air pressure. If the pressure is increased because of block vents, it affects the motor. A single-speed motor will start to work at lower power and cause a drop in airflow around the ventilation system. And this means poor comfort in general as rooms receive less powerful flow of cool air. If the blower fan has a variable-speed motor, the increase in pressure will cause the motor to ramp up to its highest power level to compensate, which means both a rise in electrical bills and additional stress that will often lead to the motor breaking down.

The increase in pressure can cause other AC problems, including a broken compressor and frozen evaporator coils. Its trouble all-around if you attempt to block room vents.

What can I do to lower my AC bills?

We wrote a blog earlier this summer addressing a number of ways to keep AC bills under control, and they’re just as useful later in summer. Here are a few quick reminders:

  • Maintain a higher thermostat setting, around 78°F during the day and 8°F higher at night.
  • Keep the outdoor unit clean so it can easily expel heat.
  • Clean up the vent covers. You don’t want them blocked in any way, and that includes dust slowing down airflow.
  • Change the air filter every 1 to 3 months.

For shutting off the flow of air to rooms that don’t require it, we recommend you take a look into zone control systems. These are excellent additions to any new HVAC system installation.

If you want to find out more about ways to improve and save money with your air conditioning system in Corpus Christi, TX, we’re happy to assist you.

Justice Air Conditioning & Heating serves Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas. We offer 24-hour emergency service.

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