Energy Efficiency Tips: Does Closing Vents in Unused Rooms Save You Money?

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With rising energy costs, you may be looking for energy efficiency tips like closing your vents in unused rooms to help you save money. However, closing vents in unused rooms could actually cost you more money. Click on the following sections to learn why and to discover some alternative energy efficiency tips that will help you to save on your utility bills.

  1. Closing Vents in Unused Rooms
  2. Energy Efficiency Tips for Heating Your Home
  3. Energy Efficiency Tips for Cooling Your Home

If you are looking for HVAC maintenance, repairs, or replacements in Cambridge and the surrounding areas, contact Service 1st. Let us put our over 30 years of experience helping homeowners get the very best HVAC products and services to work for you. When you call Service 1st, you will get to talk with one of our helpful staff right away. You will never have to worry about waiting for hours on hold or navigating complicated messaging systems.

Energy Efficiency Tips

1. Closing Vents in Unused Rooms

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It’s not a good idea to close vents in unused rooms

You might think that closing the vents in an unused room would increase the energy efficiency of your home, but it doesn’t work that way and here’s the reason why. The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system in your home is designed to draw air out of your home through the return ducts. It then pumps it back through the supply ducts. If you close vents in an unused room, then the airflow that would have gone into that room will be redirected into another part of the system.

Closing Vents Builds Up Pressure:

When the airflow is redirected to another part of your system it will cause increased pressure in your air ducts. Because of the increased pressure, more air will escape through any cracks or holes that you have in your air ducts making your system less efficient. In addition, this added pressure could also make any leaks, cracks, or holes that you have get larger.

Closing Your Vents May Damage Your System:

Closing your vents could also do permanent damage to your system over time. The pressure that builds up when your vents are blocked can make your HVAC system less efficient. Leaks that that start or get worse in your duct work can negatively impact the performance of your HVAC system. The added pressure that closed vents cause, can also lead to cracks in your heat exchanger. This is very dangerous as it could lead to the following:

If you want to improve your energy efficiency, keep reading the next sections for better and safer ways to do this instead of closing off your vents.

2. Energy Efficiency Tips for Heating Your Home

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Learn how to improve the energy efficiency of your home

Here are some great tips for increasing the energy efficiency of your home heating system.

Adjust Your Thermostat: 

Lowering the temperature on your thermostat is a great way to save energy. Set is as low as you and your family are comfortable. You can put on a heavier sweater to compensate for the temperature change.

 A good guideline is to set your thermostat to 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) when you are at home during the day. If you are comfortable with a lower temperature you can save even more. For example, decreasing the temperature to 15 degrees Celsius could save you as much as 10% on your heating bills each year. When you are away from home, you can set your temperature even lower. 

Clean Your Filters:

You should clean or replace your furnace filter once a month to help it operate more efficiently. A dirty air filter reduces the airflow through your system. This causes it to work harder so it uses more energy and is therefore less efficient. It may even have to run for a longer time in order to sustain the temperature in your home. This can also put a strain on your system.

Clean & Check Your Registers, Baseboard Heaters, and Radiators: 

Make sure that you are regularly cleaning your warm-air registers, baseboards heaters, and radiators to free them from any dust or dirt build-up. You should also make sure that you don’t have any furniture, floor coverings or drapes that are blocking them.

Use Fans Wisely: 

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Don’t run your kitchen fan longer than necessary

Don’t keep your kitchen, bath, or other ventilating fans turned on longer than necessary. These types of fans can pull out an entire houseful of warm or cooled air in as little as one hour if they are left running. 

Open and Close Your Drapes: 

During the day, you should open the drapes on your south-facing windows to let in the sun’s natural heat. This will warm up your room and will decrease the amount of time that your HVAC system needs to be running. At night, close your drapes to keep in the heat and reduce any chills that might come in through your windows.

Close the Door of Unoccupied Rooms: 

Even though, it’s not a good idea to close the vents in unused rooms, but it is helpful to close the door to any unoccupied room that is isolated from the rest of your home. You can also turn down the thermostat or turn off the heating for that room of zone. You shouldn’t, however, turn of the heating completely as it will have an adverse affect of the rest of your HVAC system.

3. Energy Efficiency Tips for Cooling Your Home

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Set the temperature higher when you are going to be away from home

Here are some helpful ideas for increasing the energy efficiency of your home cooling system.

Adjust Your Thermostat: 

Adjust your thermostat to as high a temperature as you can tolerate in the summer. If you find this difficult, you could do it gradually, increasing the temperature by a degree every few days until your body adjusts to the warmer temperatures. If you are going to be away from home, you can set the temperature even higher. 

Use Whole House Fans: 

Using whole house fans can be a great energy saving practice if you use them at night and when the air temperature outside is cooler than it is inside. They can help to cool your home by pulling cool air from outside in through your windows and other openings and then exhausting the warm air out through your attic.  

Gradually Cool Your Home: 

Don’t be tempted to turn your thermostat down to a colder temperature when you turn your air conditioner on. This will not make your home cool down any faster. Your air conditioner will cool off your home at the same rate whether it is set at the temperature you want or if it is set higher. 

Provide Shade for Your Outdoor Air-Conditioning Unit:

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Plant trees or plants to shade your air conditioner unit from the sun

Here is an energy efficiency tip that you may not have thought about. If you plant trees or shrubs to shade your outdoor air-conditioning unit, you could save as much as 10% on the electricity needed to operate your unit over the same unit running in the sun. However, you need to make sure that you don’t plant your trees or shrubs too close to your unit. There needs to be enough space around the unit so that the airflow isn’t blocked.

Set the Proper Fan Speed:

You should always have your fan speed set on high unless you are experiencing high humidity in your area. If the weather is very humid, then 
switch your fan to low. This will provide you with better cooling.

Use Ceiling Fans: 

Ceiling fans can help to improve the energy efficiency of your cooling system. They help to spread the cooled air more effectively throughout your home and they don’t use up a lot of power doing it.

Don’t Place Heat-Generating Devices Near Your Thermostat: 

Keep your thermostat clear of any heat-generating devices such as lamps or TV sets. The heat from these objects could give your thermostat a false reading of the real temperature in your room and cause it to run longer or more often than it needs to.

Rely On the Experts at Service 1st for All Your Home Heating and Cooling Needs

Silas Roger Barrette
Brandon Karl Heuser
Chris Robbin Balsdon

If you are looking for the best home heating and cooling experts in the Cambridge region, talk to the experienced team of HVAC professionals at Service 1st. We value professionalism, honesty, and a quality work. All of our technicians are highly trained and respectful of our clients’ homes. Whether you need maintenance, repairs, or HVAC replacements, we can help.

We have been serving homeowners in Cambridge and the surrounding areas for over 30 years and have a proven record of excellence. Whether it’s time to replace your air conditioner now or you want to learn more about what unit to buy in the future, we can help.

We are a locally owned and operated business that prides itself on the highest quality work and installation of the highest quality products. We have received the prestigious Circle of Champions award from Bryant – an honour that highlights our commitment to quality, leadership, and excellence in the HVAC industry. We are an Elite Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer and offer our customers the highest quality products and services.

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“Chris was absolutely amazing!! He took the time to explain exactly what my issue was with my furnace. Very knowledgeable and very patient in his  explanations. Service 1st you have a valuable team player. Will definitely recommend Service 1st to family and Friends!!”I found all service technicians very informative and very professional.   I had the ducts in my house cleaned, my gas fireplace tuned up and a whole new furnace and heat pump installed.  I would highly recommend Service 1st!!

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