Does closing air vents reduce energy consumption?
The summer season is upon Australia, and that means each and every air conditioning system in the country will be working full-time to keep Australians cool for the entire season. Operating air conditioners regularly also means huge energy consumption, which will certainly be reflected in the electricity bill at the end of each month.
As expected, people are trying to find ways to reduce energy costs while keeping cool temperatures inside their homes. One of the more common practices believed to help reduce energy costs is closing air vents.
On the surface, closing air vents during the summer is a sound idea, as it helps divert airflow from underused rooms of the house to key areas of the house, thereby maximising use of the conditioned air. In theory, this should help you reduce energy costs. But does it? Let’s hear from James, our resident air conditioning specialist.
Closing air vents could damage ductwork
Closing air vents to redirect airflow may make a lot of sense, but what many don’t realise is that doing so actually causes the air conditioning system to work even harder, and that could lead to even higher energy bills in the end.
You see, closing air vents could have a damaging effect on ductwork. The average duct system is not exactly designed to take the added pressure that an altered airflow from a forced-air system could create. Pretty soon, the weak points of the duct would be strained to the point where it would develop leaks. And when there are duct leaks, you can be sure that great amounts of cooled air in the summer (and warmed air in the winter) will be lost. That is a lot of energy down the drain, and hardly a good way to reduce energy costs.
Strained air conditioning system
Your air conditioning system also takes quite a beating when too many air vents are closed. Aside from the strain of having to work harder because of duct leaks, the unit itself could suffer from damage and disrepair as the increased air pressure reduces air flow across the heat exchange coil. Compressor problems may also happen because of the elevated air pressure, and that could damage your A/C unit for good.
If you really want to reduce energy costs while keeping your entire household comfortable even in the hottest days of summer, there are a number of things that you can do. Instead of closing air vents, I suggest that you keep your thermostat up in the summer. Just put it a level that’s comfortable enough for everyone in the household. Setting the thermostat to really cold temperatures inside the house would be overdoing it a bit, after all. It would also help if you plug the leaks, should you find any, in your duct system. Cleaning or unblocking the vents and changing the air filter on a regular basis will also do wonders for your energy conservation goals.
A properly qualified air conditioning specialist will be able to assist you greatly in this matter and likely save you a lot of money in the process. If you would like to find one for your air conditioning system, why not give us a call today?
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