Can Closing Your Air Vents Save You Money?

Heating and cooling costs make up more than 50 percent of your energy bill! So any energy-efficient change you make to your air conditioning habits this summer could save you a bundle on your monthly bill. While it seems sensible to close air vents in rooms that you don’t need to cool, it’s a mistake that could end up costing you — big time.

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It doesn’t matter whether you have one or 15 air vents open in your home. Your air conditioner will provide the same amount of air flow regardless. When you close vents, it forces the air meant for that room into other areas, which creates pressure in your ducts. That unnecessary pressure can cause air leaks, wasting your expensive air conditioning and ultimately costing you more money to keep your home cool.

If pressure continues to build up, leaks aren’t the only thing you’ll have to contend with. In more severe cases, closing unused vents can damage your heating and cooling system to the point that you’ll need to replace it entirely.
Leave air vents open at all times. That allows your air conditioner to work efficiently and optimize the cool air flow as it was designed to do.

To save energy, try these tips instead:

  • Turn your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. The U.S. Department of Energy says these are the optimal temperatures for energy savings.
  • Get an AC tune up each year to ensure your unit is still working properly.
  • Replace your air filter as soon as you notice it’s dirty. Switching out a dirty filter can cut your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
  • Use your ceiling fan. It can cool you down by up to 4 degrees, so you can avoid turning down the AC.

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