You should only consider closing your air conditioner vents in the winter if your heating system or HVAC system does not use the same vents.
In order for your air conditioner to cool your home, it needs to use a lot of electricity to power the unit’s different components.
Closing your air conditioner vents during winter if these vents are shared with the rest of the HVAC system will not decrease this energy usage and may even damage your HVAC system over time. But there are other methods that you can use to lower your electricity usage in this time.
Air conditioner energy consumption
Air conditioners are one of the appliances within your home that will use the most electricity to run and function.
Since an air conditioner needs to run its compressor and fan motor in order to cool your space, this means that it will need a lot of power to work effectively.
This is why it is important that you find an air conditioner that is appropriately sized for your space and to keep your air conditioner well-maintained, since this will prevent you from wasting power unnecessarily.
Should air conditioner vents be closed in winter?
Because of the fact that your air conditioner can use such a large quantity of power when it is on and operating during the hotter summer months, it is only natural to wonder whether you can seal off the air conditioner vents in your home during the winter.
As some people believe that this will help you save on your electricity bill and that it will give you greater control over the overall interior temperature of your house.
However, whether or not you should close and seal off your air conditioner vents during the winter is highly dependent on whether your air conditioner shares this vent system with your furnace or the heating system in your home.
If your air conditioner has its own separate vent system and the air handling system is in an unconditioned space within your home like the attic, there will be no real harm in closing these vents during the winter months when the air conditioner is not being used.
If your air conditioner does share your vent system with other parts of your HVAC system, like the furnace, which you will use for heating during the winter, then it is not a good idea to close the vents in the winter.
Not only will this not save you any money on your electricity bill, but closing these vents in the winter can actually damage your HVAC system, because the air will still need to move around and this will change the pressure throughout the system.
Fortunately, there are some other tricks that you can try instead in order to save energy during the winter.
How closing the vents in the winter will make your HVAC system work harder
Even though you may want to close the vents to rooms in your house that you do not use as often during the winter, your HVAC system will not know that this has happened, and it will continue to try and heat and cool your entire home as it was designed to do.
At the same time, these closed-off spaces will become extremely cold during the winter and this will lower the overall temperature of your home.
As a result, your HVAC system will not use any less energy. In fact, it will be working harder to maintain the set temperature and can incur additional damage and wear and tear.
How closing the vents in the winter will increase the pressure in the HVAC system
Your HVAC system and all of its vents are designed to even out pressure in your home. If you only close off some of the vents in this system, additional pressure will be redirected to other parts of the vent system.
Over time, this pressure can build up and this can cause cracks and tears to form in your vent system. Although these cracks can usually be repaired with duct sealing tape, this can result in additional costs that could have been avoided.
Other ways to save energy during the winter without closing your vents
Therefore, closing off vents in the winter is not the most effective way to save energy during this time. However, some of the ways that you can reduce the energy usage of your HVAC system are:
- Repairing any air leaks around the ductwork with duct seal tape
- Sealing the spaces around windows and doors with caulk, weather stripping, or foam sealant
- Hanging thermal insulating curtains in your rooms
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