Should You Close Upstairs Vents in the Winter?

Air vent

Throughout the long and cold winter season, many homeowners look for ways to use less heat and increase their home’s overall energy efficiency. A popular method that many homeowners utilize to save money and energy is to close vents in winter in rooms that aren’t often occupied. While this sounds like a good idea, in theory, it can increase your energy consumption and cause significant damage to your HVAC system and ductwork.

Why You Shouldn’t Close Vents in Winter

Closing air vents upstairs can have a negative impact on your home and its HVAC system. You might run into issues such as:

Lower Overall Home Temperature

You may think that closing vents in unused rooms upstairs will save energy because heat is no longer flowing into unoccupied spaces. However, it’s doing the opposite. Closing your upstairs vents greatly reduces the temperatures in those spaces, causing the temperature to drop throughout your home as the cold air from those spaces circulates to other areas of your home. Your HVAC system, to hit the higher temperature that you’ve set, will stay on longer. This places additional and unnecessary stress on your heating and cooling equipment and can quickly lead to expensive damage.

Decreased Energy Efficiency

When your home’s temperature drops below the set temperature more frequently, your heating system has to work harder to raise the temperature. This means it will likely have to stay on for longer periods of time and turn on more frequently. This drains your home of energy and shoots your heating bills through the roof.

Damage to Your Ductwork

Your heating system – no matter which vents are opened or closed – will produce the same amount of heated air. When multiple vents are closed, that airflow must be redirected to other areas of your home where vents are open and the air can be released. This causes pressure to build up within your ductwork, which can lead to serious and expensive damage down the road.

Energy Saving Solutions

Instead of closing air vents in unused rooms or unoccupied areas of your home, consider other methods. Some more effective ways to save energy and heat include:

  • Utilizing ceiling fans for air circulation
  • Eliminating any air leaks or drafts by windows, crawl spaces, ductwork, etc.
  • Having your heating system maintained regularly
  • Adjusting your thermostat when you’re not home or if you’re asleep
  • Opening your curtains during the day to allow sunlight to get in

Taking advantage of these strategies will be far more effective than closing air vents in upstairs rooms. Not only will you likely see increased savings on your energy bills, but you also won’t cause any damage to your HVAC system or ductwork.

Contact Novak for Heating Services

Novak Heating and Cooling has provided high-quality heating services to homes and businesses in Cedar Rapids since 1934. Our heating and cooling technicians come backed with the necessary experience and knowledge to provide the best solution for your unique issue. For heating services that you can depend on, including installations, repairs, and maintenance, get in contact with us today.