Far from saving money, closing heat registers may actually increase heating costs.
During heating season, many homeowners struggle with high heating bills and begin looking for every possible means of reducing their heat use and energy consumption. One popular idea is to shut the heat registers in guest rooms and other spaces that are not being used. While this seems like a reasonable way to conserve energy, in reality shutting heat registers can have unintended consequences and can actually end up increasing your heating costs in some cases.
Three Reasons Not to Close Heat Registers
- More Cold Drafts: When the heat vent in a room is closed, this can increase suction through the return air grille. Soon there will be negative pressure inside the room that will increase the amount of air pulled into the home through leaks around windows and outlets on exterior walls. This cold air can escape the sealed room through the walls and through gaps around the door and make nearby parts of the home feel colder.
- More Heat Loss in Ducts: Another side effect of closing heat registers is increasing pressure inside the ductwork. After all, your HVAC system has been carefully calibrated to deliver a specific volume of heated air, and if you decrease the outlets for this air it will create pressure that can potentially cause the ducts to leak. You’ll start losing heat into spaces like attics, basements, and floor cavities.
- More Work for Your Furnace: One final issue that can result from closing off heat vents in certain rooms is increased strain on your furnace. The blower will have to work harder to deliver the air to the remaining parts of the system, which will hurt efficiency and may actually raise your heating costs.
Alternatives to Closing Heat Registers
If you’re looking for ways to save money on your heating bills this winter, there are plenty of alternatives to closing heat registers in unused rooms. For example, you might consider getting your insulation inspected. Many older homes have never had adequate insulation, and any home could suffer water damage from a hidden roof leak that would compromise the integrity and effectiveness of the insulation. At Econo West Heating Air & Plumbing, we can provide additional high-quality insulation for extra protection against heat loss. We can also provide furnace tuneups to help ensure your system is running at maximum efficiency, as well as programmable thermostats to help you manage your heat use with greater precision. Please contact us today to schedule a service visit.