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A Home Heating Hack Sure to Fail

A Home Heating Hack Sure to Fail

These days you can find a hack for just about anything, each promising to improve your life, make everyday tasks easier, or save you money. Some deliver on their promises. These include keeping cables and power cords organized by labeling them with bread clips, using cooking oil to scrub off sticky label residue, or a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water in a clean spray bottle to get windows and mirrors sparkling clean.

Yet other hacks not only fail to deliver; they can end up costing you more money in the long run. Like shutting off or closing vents in unused rooms. Here’s why:

Sized Just Right

Whether it’s a furnace, central air conditioning system, or heat pump, an HVAC unit is sized to match the cubic feet of your home so that it distributes an even amount of conditioned air through every room. No matter how many vents are open or closed, it will continue to run at the same power level.

Under Pressure

Let’s take your furnace for example. When the thermostat signals it to kick in, the blower pushes hot air through the ductwork and out through your vents. If air can’t be released because some vents are closed, air pressure builds up and can lead to duct leaks which, in turn, result in heat loss. And just for good measure, your heating costs will rise.

Working Harder, Not Smarter

A home’s duct system includes vents that deliver conditioned air to rooms and return vents that deliver air back to the AC system or furnace. When vents are closed, negative air pressure is created causing the HVAC unit to work harder to draw in air and recirculate it. This places added strain on the system and can lead to more frequent repairs and a shortened life span.

A Sucky Situation

The goal of closing vents in unused rooms is to push more conditioned air into those that are occupied. In winter, this means that one or two rooms will be colder than the rest. Instead, that causes the colder room to suck warmer air through the walls, floors, and ceilings of adjacent rooms, lowering the temp in those rooms and signaling the furnace to cycle on more frequently.

The Solution

Follow these tips to realize real energy savings without compromising your family’s comfort.

  • Seal and caulk gaps around windows and exterior doors. If your windows are drafty and replacement is not an option, use inexpensive plastic window wrap to keep warm air in and cold air out.
  • If you don’t want to heat the entire house while occupying one or two rooms, lower the thermostat a few degrees and use a space heater in the room you’re in.
  • Schedule an HVAC inspection to keep your systems running efficiently, spot any problems, and remedy any hot and cold spots you may be experiencing in various rooms.

Here’s another effective solution from the heating and cooling pros at Correct Temp. If your entire house runs off a single thermostat, it’s time to create one or more additional zones, each with its own thermostat. That way, you can enjoy the level of comfort you prefer in the space you occupy and save money elsewhere. Contact us today for a free in-home comfort evaluation and whole-house zoning proposal.

A Home Heating Hack Sure to Fail