Closing Vents Save Money? Read This First.
Have you ever been tempted to close a vent to save money or energy? As your trusted mechanical contractor, we will explain why that is not good for your HVAC system, or your budget.
Hot or cold, extreme weather runs up your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC.) In winter, heating and maintaining hot water for your business uses a large portion of your energy and operational budget. Budget conscious operation managers may be tempted shut off vents to divert warm air. Why heat a room that is not in use? Moreover, vents have levers that allow you to adjust the direction of air flow. It makes it seem like it would be OK to open or close it to your needs. Unfortunately the opposite is true.
Effect of Closing Vents
Closed vents increase pressure within your HVAC duct system. More pressure means your HVAC’s Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM) will increase the air blowing to keep the airflow consistent. For HVACs with Permanent Split Capacitor Motors (PCS), more pressure means your HVAC system will have decreased air flow. Besides low airflow being uncomfortable, read on to see why that is bad.
The more vents you close, the higher the pressure in the duct system. In systems with poorly sealed ducts, this increase in duct pressure will create more duct leakage. The more vents you close, the higher the pressure, the more leaks.
Bad News in Winter
Air flow is the life force of your HVAC system. Air flows over a coil or heat exchanger to either heat up or cool down. Since we are in winter, let’s talk heating. If air flow is low over a heat pump coil, you can over heat or freeze your coil, increase pressure in your refrigerant, create refrigerant leaks and blow your compressor. Low air flow can also damage your furnace, creating cracks and potentially send carbon monoxide into your system.
Although closing vents might seem like a good idea, it is not. No matter the weather, closing vents does not save money. Closing vents increase your HVAC duct pressure, creating duct leakage (more costs) and many more problems down the line.