Electricity bills can skyrocket this time of year due to the strain put on your home air conditioning. Homeowners are always looking for simple ways to reduce their utility costs. One suggestion that people always ask us about is closing the air conditioning vents in rooms that aren’t used on an everyday basis.
In theory, it seems like a good idea. Why waste energy sending cold air into a room that no one is in? Closing the vents should push that cold air into the other rooms of my house, cooling them more efficiently. The reality, however, isn’t quite that simple.
Why shutting vents is counter-productive
Your central air conditioning duct system is balanced, meaning that the air going into your air conditioning is equal to the volume of air going out of your system. When you close off specific ducts, you disrupt that balance.
This imbalance causes your unit to struggle to circulate cold air through your house. Your air conditioner will wind up running longer as it tries to cool the same amount of space with less airflow. The more vents you close, the higher the pressure disruption in your system. This leads to another potential issue.
The buildup of pressure in your ductwork can cause small leaks to form, and existing leaks to become larger. This will inadvertently lead to you cooling the crawlspaces and attic in your home where the ductwork is laid. The loss of cool air into these spaces forces your air conditioning to work harder to push cold air throughout your home and into the rooms you want cooled.
Alternative methods to save money and energy
First off, make sure all of your vents are open and unblocked. The proper flow of air between rooms will help your unit run efficiently. Have your ductwork cleaned regularly to make sure there are no leaks or blockages. If you only use a few of the rooms in your home, consider investing in single room air conditioning units. The new wall AC systems are energy efficient and easy to install.
Consider installing a new air conditioning/heating system. Today’s HVAC systems are extremely cost effective and can reduce your energy bills by significant amounts of money. A multiple zone system gives you the ability to cool and heat certain areas of your home. These zones operate on thermostats installed in various places in your home, and can be set to different temperatures, allowing you to maintain different temperatures in different rooms.
If you feel your energy bills are too high and you are looking for some things to try to reduce those bills, give us a call at (631)673-6182. We can help you determine if your air conditioning is running optimally and discuss possible solutions with you.