Closing air vents in unused rooms is a great way to cut down on heating bills, right?
In fact, it does the exact opposite and actually increases your energy bills. But, more importantly, closing air vents can also cause costly damage to your furnace and shorten its lifespan.
That’s not exactly the results you were looking for, right? Don’t worry. We’ll explain exactly why closing air vents causes so much damage and what you should do instead.
Closing air vents forces your furnace’s blower motor to work harder, which eventually leads to expensive damage.
First, you need to know that your furnace’s blower system is responsible for 2 things:
And that blower system is designed to work against a specific amount of pressure inside your ductwork. But closing vents (yes, even just one), increases the pressure inside the ductworks.
So now that you understand how your furnace blower works, let’s take a closer look at exactly how closed vents hurts your furnace.
If you consistently leave supply vents closed while your furnace is running, you’ll eventually be looking at expensive furnace damage. But the type of damage you’ll see depends on the type of furnace blower you have.
Here’s what we mean:
...the blower runs slower which leads to costly damage to your heat exchanger.
Older furnaces have “PSC” blower motors that only operate at two speeds: on and off. So, when these motors work against extra pressure, the blower runs at a slower pace. And if the motor can’t pull as much cool air over the heat exchanger (the part of your furnace that heats the air), the heat exchanger will eventually overheat and crack, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs.
If not enough cool air is blown over the heat exchanger, it can overheat and crack.
...the blower has to use more energy to keep up with the extra pressure, ultimately shortening the lifespan of your blower motor.
Many newer, more efficient furnaces have “ECM” motors that offer variable speeds depending on the amount of output that’s needed at any given time. When ECM motors hit extra pressure, they can ramp up the speed to keep up. But working against that extra pressure strains the motor, shortening its lifespan as a result.
Closing air vents don’t just damage your furnace. Not keeping all air vents open can also lead to:
Closing vents can cause air ducts to leak
Keep vents open. Yes, even in rooms you don’t use! The more vents you close and the longer you keep them closed, the more likely you’ll experience the problems above. Leaving vents open will also save you more money on heating bills and furnace repairs.
If you’re still struggling with higher-than-normal heating bills, though, you may have other problems such as air duct leakage or an inefficient furnace.
We suggest having a professional inspect your system to find the cause behind your high heating bills and suggest energy-efficient solutions.
Just contact us. We’re happy to help you cut down on heating bills with our energy-efficient home comfort products.