should I close vents in unused roomsClosing vents in unused rooms is a great way to save money heating or cooling your home. Closing the vents off and also the cold air return vents is a great way to save energy and only heat those areas in your home that need to be heated. If you close the cold air vent return, make sure you have a hot air vent return close to the ceiling before closing the cold air vent. Older homes may not have a hot and a cold air vent return. If you are not using them, why heat them or cool those rooms? Remove all of your plants and anything that might be damaged by excessive heat or cold and save yourself some money.

This is a great way to save money, however there is a smart way to shut the vents off.  We would appreciate your comments as well, since we are always looking for ways to save money.

There are a couple of things to watch however and take into consideration, especially in winter when it is below freezing.

Closing Vents in Unused Rooms 

Heating Rooms With Water Pipes

Any pipes with water in them will freeze and a leaking pipe can cause a lot of damage. If there are pipes in the room such as a bathroom, you pretty much have to heat that room to avoid any possibility of a frozen water pipe. Take this suggestion very seriously, because water can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Cooling Rooms

On the other hand if you are trying to save money by cutting down on the air conditioning, you can pretty much shut off any vents you want to avoid cooling more area and save on the cost of cooling. Always make sure that there is a clear area for air to flow in rooms you want to have cooled. There must be a vent delivering air to the room and a vent to return the air to the furnace for central air conditioned homes. If you do not complete this circuit, the air conditioning will not work properly and may damage your air conditioning unit and cost even more.

Location of Your Thermostat

In order to effectively save money you must take into account the location of your thermostat. If it is in a room that you do not use and want to shut off from either heating or cooling you are out of luck. The thermostat will control the temperature in the room that it is in and this impacts the rest of the house. Shutting off the vents in this room is only going to cause the furnace to run longer in a heating situation and the same with cooling since there is no air circulation in the room. So leave the vents open in this room were your thermostat is located including cold air return vents and hot air return vents.

Cold Air Return Vents

This is another issue to take into account. Most homes will have a cold air return vent located in all of the major areas of the home. For example, we have two downstairs, one in the family room and another in the living room which is the 2nd part of the house. In addition there are two more upstairs, one in the hallway and the other in the master bedroom. These vents must be left open for air to circulate properly.

Hot Air Return Vents.

These vents are located in the same location as the cold air return vents, however they are located at the ceiling level instead of the floor level. In the winter time cold air settles to the floor and is drawn into the cold air returns located at the floor.  In the summer hot air floats to the ceiling and this hot air is drawn into the hot air returns along the ceiling. These vents should also be left open during the cooling season, however you can close them during the winter time. Similarly the cold air returns can be closed during the summer time and must be open during the winter.

Vents in your Basement

If you do not use your basement, you probably should shut the vents off in the summer time to avoid cooling this area as well.  Be careful in the winter, since there are lots of water pipes in this area of the home and they must nor freeze in the winter time.

As with all cost savings suggestions there is often a smart way to save money and another approach which could even cost you more. If you have any doubts leave the vents open,or get a professional opinion.

Readers are encouraged to leave their comments and suggestions as well to help everyone save money. Spam comments will be deleted.

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