Will Closing Vents in Unused Rooms Save Energy (and Money) This Winter?

October 15, 2021
SmartHouse fleet truck in winter dusted with snow

Homeowners everywhere look to save money on heating costs every year when the temperatures drop, and St. Louis is no exception! The problem is, some tips for energy savings are good ideas, while others are not!

One of the most popular heating myths we hear from people trying to reduce their utility costs is that your monthly heating bill can be higher or lower depending on which HVAC vents you keep open or closed.

This is true—but for the opposite reason you might think!

How Your St. Louis Home’s HVAC System Works

In a home with forced air heating, you have two separate ductwork lines. One sends conditioned air from your HVAC unit into the separate rooms of your home, while the other draws air in your home back towards your furnace, boiler, or heat pump so it can be reconditioned and recirculated.

This system relies on a precise balance of air pressure—to work properly, the square footage of your home needs to be taken carefully into account, among other factors.

Why Closing Your Vents in Winter is a Bad Idea

If you have rooms in your home that you don’t use often during the colder months of the year, you might think that closing the vents in those rooms could save you money, as you wouldn’t have to pay to keep those parts of your St. Louis house warm.

But actually, closing vents in certain rooms will throw off the air pressure balance of your HVAC system. An increase in pressure will make duct leakage worse, leading to more wasted energy (as well as wasted money). You can also overwork your HVAC equipment, creating issues like a blown compressor.

Closing HVAC vents, instead of saving you money, will likely lead to more energy waste and higher heating bills, as well as added wear and tear on your HVAC system that will shorten its lifespan.

What are Some REAL Ways to Save Money on Heating This Winter?

Even though we’ve just debunked the vent closing myth, there are plenty of actual ways to avoid high heating bills in the winter!

Schedule HVAC maintenance for your St. Louis home

Fall furnace maintenance tune-ups from a professional HVAC technician at SmartHouse Heating and Cooling will help keep your heating system working as efficiently as possible, and can also help you avoid unexpected (and expensive) breakdowns in the middle of winter.

Upgrading your HVAC system with SmartHouse

Eventually, all heating systems have to be replaced, as there’s no amount of maintenance, repairs, or tune-ups that will keep your unit running reliably and efficiently forever. But SmartHouse can help you find the right upgrade that will help save you money while keeping you warm for many winters to come, including high-efficiency furnace replacement options as well as money-saving electric heat pumps or ductless mini-split upgrades.

Keep your heating bills low this winter with help from your local go-to HVAC contractor in St. Louis, MO. Call 314-644-1570 or contact SmartHouse today to get started.