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Old 01-06-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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Is it all right to close vents in rooms that aren't being used? I have heard conflicting information on this subject.

When I get my annual furnace cleaning and servicing done, the technician tells me that it is damaging to your furnace because it makes it work harder. But my electric company mentions closing vents to unused rooms as a way to save energy and money.

There are two vents that I like to close. One is a guest room that I seldom use in the winter. The other room is the bath that is closest to the furnace. If I don't keep the vent closed the heat pours into this room and makes it too hot. With the vent closed it stays at a comfortable temperature.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Cold Springs, NV
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Just closing the door to slow the flow should be enough.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:32 PM
Status: "I LOOOVE COLORS" (set 5 days ago)
 
30,114 posts, read 27,192,451 times
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It really is not recommended. The increased restrictions in air flow can make the air get to hot tripping limit controls.

The heat leakage from the ducts increase as well as the higher temps radiate more wasted heat.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
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I don't know, I close the vents on an unused room on main level (it's a small room) - I also close the vents on the one upstairs bedroom since I get too hot even though I turn the heat down to about 50 at night. This is a Cape Cod house - main level is combined LR/DR, kitchen, 2 BR's (one is the mentioned tiny room, door is closed and vent is off), bathroom. Upstairs is only 2 BR's and a bath. Been doing this for many years (we have a very reasonable heating bill).
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:20 PM
 
7,887 posts, read 8,370,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
It really is not recommended. The increased restrictions in air flow can make the air get to hot tripping limit controls.

The heat leakage from the ducts increase as well as the higher temps radiate more wasted heat.
I've been told not to close vents, doors so many times that I refuse to do it. One HVAC guy told me that when the cold rooms are too cold or the hot rooms are too hot to turn the fan to ON for a bit. It really does balance the temperature in the whole living space.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:51 PM
 
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Far too many people misunderstand how an A/C system works. If you were to weigh the air in the ducts, it's negative in paschal weight. The power of an A/C unit is at the return air. It basically, for your understanding, is vacuuming air out of the ducts. If you just stop to think about it, if the air was compressed or pressured, the fiberglas duct work that's only taped together wouldn't stay together very long. Closing off ducts is how you balance a system. Closing one duct off means that more air is being vacuumed from others. You have to close off almost half the ducts to slow air flow down to where the heat side would start to cycle off and on so that it doesn't overheat. Any A/C tech that tells you not to close off ducts to balance the air flow has no clue what he talking about and you need to find another guy.
To the OP, the duct that has the most flow is probably at the very beginning of the duct work or at the very end of a straight run trunk. I happen to have that same situation in my office where the duct air flow is a lot versus the bedroom right around the corner and it's due to the duct in the office being at the end of the main trunk ductwork whereas the bedroom has a small duct that is a left 90 degree turn from the main duct trunk. I adjust the air flow in both from the office by closing it some or opening it when the bedroom is not in use. You can save energy $$$ by mostly closing these ducts off that are in rooms you're not using. Assuming you are in Indiana, I wouldn't close them off completely as the cold rooms will cause the unit to run more. Just make sure there is some air flow and you should be just fine.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:43 AM
Status: "I LOOOVE COLORS" (set 5 days ago)
 
30,114 posts, read 27,192,451 times
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balancing ducts is one thing, closing them is quite another . as an ac tech i have had countless calls for a freeze up condition and found the vents closed in the basement or un-used rooms. it is all about getting the air flow the system was designed for.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
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I closed the registers on the rooms with only one outside wall, on the advice of the furnace folks, allowing more warm air to flow into the outer rooms. The result was as advertised; the entire house is more comfortable and the unheated rooms stay warm enough unless the outside temps are severe.

My house has no return ductwork, though, so I don't know if the advice would have been the same otherwise.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
1,389 posts, read 2,052,517 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
I've been told not to close vents, doors so many times that I refuse to do it. One HVAC guy told me that when the cold rooms are too cold or the hot rooms are too hot to turn the fan to ON for a bit. It really does balance the temperature in the whole living space.
So what happens if all the doors are closed at night when everyone goes to bed in their bedrooms?
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
25,584 posts, read 32,355,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmyk72 View Post
So what happens if all the doors are closed at night when everyone goes to bed in their bedrooms?
At my mom's house, all the bedroom doors rattle for a second or two at the instant the furnace comes on. The doors on my bedrooms -- because I have no return ductwork -- are cut about an inch off the carpet to allow the cool air to escape.
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