Homeowners are always looking for a way to minimize their energy costs. They are aware that having an AC unit that is efficient means that they will have to pay less on their home cooling costs. If you want to make sure that your AC unit is running optimally, give Lawes Company a call today.
Our HVAC services can ensure that your air conditioner runs more efficiently, making use of less energy. Our services include maintenance, air conditioner repairs, and AC tune-ups. We also offer useful tips which can help you minimize summer energy bills. Our services are available in Shrewsbury NJ and the areas surrounding areas. Contact us today to make an appointment.
A question that we are frequently asked is if closing vents to unused rooms is a good idea. We will answer that question in this article, and we will also give you some energy pointers that can help you during those summer months.
Can Closing HVAC Vents In Unused Rooms Save Money?
Your heating or cooling system does not work more efficiently with closed HVAC vents. Therefore, closing the vents does not mean less cooling costs. What happens is that pressure in the air ducts increases. It is this pressure that causes the AC system to malfunction, and this means more repair costs. These issues will vary based on the kind of blower motor that your AC has. Some of the problems include:
- increased energy use
- increased duct leakage
- frozen air conditioner coil
- dead compressor
- lower airflow in ducts
Below, you will find more information on why closing HVAC vents in unused rooms does not save money.
Types Of Blower Motors
The blower motor on your HVAC unit is the component that distributes conditioned air all over your home. It pulls warm air from your house via the return ducts. The motor also pushes that conditioned air back into your house via the supply ducts. There are two main kinds of blower motors: permanent split capacitor (PSC) blowers and electronically communicated motor (ECM) blowers.
The significant difference between those two blowers is that the ECM blower motor can change its speed based on the workload. But, the PSC motor continually blows conditioned air at a fixed rate. Because of this, the former is typically in high-efficiency HVAC units, while the latter (PSC motor) is generally in lower-efficiency units.
How Closing HVAC Vents Affects Blower Motor Performance
Both motors operate by pushing air against a maximum pressure variation. Usually, the pressure variation is 0.5 inches of water column (iwc). But, there are specific factors which can lead to the maximum pressure variation to rise. The factors include small supply ducts and dirty air filters. Another factor that increases pressure is closing HVAC vents in rooms that are not in use. If this happens, the ECM blower motor will be forced to work harder to cope with the extra pressure. More energy will be used, increasing your cooling costs.
A PSC blower on the other hand continually blows air at a fixed rate. It cannot work harder to cope with more pressure in the ducts. To deal with the extra load, it merely slows down. What that means is that there will be less conditioned air coming from the open AC vents; meaning your house will be less comfortable. To make matters worse, less airflow in the AC unit might even lead to the freezing of the evaporator coils. This situation ultimately causes extensive damage to the compressor, something that is very expensive to replace.
Therefore, in order to have an energy efficient central air conditioner, you need to keep the vents to your home open.
Increased Duct Leakage
According to Energy Star, the average house in the United States makes a loss of somewhere between 20% and 30% of conditioned air as a result of duct leaks. What this means is that your house will be losing conditioned air and the increase of pressure in the ductwork will worsen the issue. Your HVAC unit will be forced to work harder and use extra energy to cool your house to the level that you desire; meaning more cooling costs.
Is Your Air Conditioner Energy Efficient?
It’s impossible to save money if you close HVAC vents in rooms that are not in use. If you close them, it will not alter what the unit’s blower motor is meant to do. In fact, if you close them, the pressure will increase in your ductwork because these motors were made in such a way that they operate at a maximum pressure variance.
Based on the blower type you have, this can lead to malfunctions like a frozen air conditioner coil, lower airflow, a dead compressor, indoor comfort issues and a cracked heat exchanger in the furnace. That is why it is essential to make use of other methods to minimize energy use.
To enhance your home’s energy efficiency, contact the experts at Lawes Company. We are there to service your AC unit so that it works optimally while minimizing energy bills during the summer months. At the same time, we can maintain your heating units so that your home is cozier, as well as energy efficient in winter. We have well-trained NATE-certified heating and cooling technicians there to assist you. If you are in need of an AC replacement, we can find the best energy efficient air conditioner and the most energy saving air conditioner brand for your home. Make sure that you contact us to make an appointment.