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Think Shutting off Rooms to Save Energy Is a Smart Idea? Think Again

November 7, 2013 | Blog

Coastal Bend residents have a shorter winter than those who live in other parts of the United States. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to keep your heating bills down. If you’re not using one or more rooms in your home, it’s tempting to shut them off. After all, if you don’t heat them, you’re saving energy, right? Actually, shutting off rooms to save energy might not be as smart an idea as you think. Here’s why.

The Pressure Problems

When you shut the supply registers in a room, the return registers are still operational. This creates a pressure imbalance, and now air is getting sucked into the room to rectify the imbalance. From where? From the outside. Cold air is coming in via leaks such as those around your window frames. And along with the air, there’s moisture. Over the long term, this cold, moist air could damage your wood finishings and cause your paint to bubble and peel.

Further, thwarting the natural flow of heated air stresses your ductwork. Pressure builds when the air can’t get where it’s intended. It can cause seams to loosen and speed the loss of air through breaches such as rips and tears. Now you’re losing the heat that you’re paying for.

The Size Problem

Your furnace was sized to precisely match your home’s heating load. That means your furnace was designed to heat your entire home, not just part of it. When you lower your heating load, your furnace effectively becomes oversized. It will operate less efficiently, perhaps cycling on and off too frequently and keeping you less comfortable than you should be. Ultimately, this will put more wear and tear on your furnace.

The Right Way 

It is possible to shut a room to save energy. But it should be smaller than 100 square feet and as far as possible from the furnace. If you want to do anything more extensive, consult your HVAC professional. He can help you adjust the system to meet your new heating requirements.

Have questions about heating your south Texas home? Contact the experts at CCAC. We can answer all of your questions and help with any of your needs, whether it’s getting a new system or having your present one maintained. 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about save energy and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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