Save Energy by Closing Heat Registers

Talk to an HVAC expert before you start closing vents

It seems like a waste to heat unused rooms, but closing heat registers may actually increase heating costs, especially with newer systems.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Consult an HVAC contractor first

There are three good reasons to get an HVAC contractor involved before you start closing off heat vents, especially with today's high-efficiency furnaces and well-balanced systems. First, it might actually add to your heating bill. That's because with the heat vent closed, the suction from the return air duct can pull in cold air from the outside through any cracks around windows, exterior doors or exterior wall electrical boxes. Second, if the heat duct seams haven’t been sealed properly, the extra pressure from closed-off vents will force hot air through the leaks. That can be as much as 15 percent of heated air into basements, crawl spaces and floor cavities instead of into rooms. Finally, if you have a well-designed, finely tuned heating system, closing off too many rooms can damage your furnace because it has to work too hard to distribute the air. So, if you still want to seal off these rooms, consider hiring an HVAC contractor for advice.

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