Is Shutting a Room to Save Energy a Bad Idea?
Some of the tips that help save energy have a lot of value, but closing off a room isn’t one of them. In fact, doing so can actually increase your energy consumption and create unnecessary repair bills.
The two parts most harmed by closing off a room include the air handler and the ductwork. The air handler contains some of the cooling components and many of the heating parts, including the blower that works for both cooling and heating. The ductwork delivers the conditioned air and consists of sections of ducts that are joined together with permanent adhesives and metal fittings.
When you close off a room to save energy, the air pressure inside the ducts increases. Over time, the increased pressure will separate the ductwork’s joints and seams. These leaks increase energy consumption and costs in proportion to their size because the air that blows past an air leak won’t reach its destination.
- Low air pressure harms the components inside the air handler. In the cooling mode, the amount of air blowing over the evaporator coil will be lower because of the leaks and the coil can freeze. A frozen evaporator coil can burn out the compressor, your system’s most expensive part.
- In the heating function, low airflow going through the air handler can cause the heat exchanger to stay warmer, which may cause it to crack. A cracked heat exchanger can prompt a complete furnace replacement, since these cracks can emit carbon monoxide into your home’s air.
The best way to save energy with your HVAC system is to:
- Change the air filter when needed and
- Have the system professionally maintained.
Both keep the parts inside the system clean and the airflow optimal to prevent higher energy costs and premature part failure.
Trying to save energy by closing off a room isn’t the best solution for lowering energy costs. To learn more, contact Sobieski Services, Inc. Our goal is to provide our customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware with information that helps them increase home energy efficiency and comfort with their HVAC and plumbing systems.