Myth or Fact: Does Closing Doors Help Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs?

person opening door

Homeowners try all sorts of things to save money. Many of them work — but some of them don’t. Does closing doors help air conditioning and heating bills go down? This is a pretty common practice and seems reasonable, right? The real answer may surprise you.

Should You Close Doors and Vents in Unused Rooms?

It makes sense that if you close off rooms you don’t normally use (or close vents) that the HVAC system in your home wouldn’t have to work so hard and your utility bills would go down. You would think that saving several hundred square feet of home to cool or heat could make a pretty big difference.

But closing doors actually doesn’t help with energy efficiency. It can actually decrease it and increase your monthly bills. The reason is that closing doors obstructs airflow in your home — and your HVAC unit needs proper airflow to function at its best.

The air in the room becomes pressurized due to the obstruction. But that pressurized air has to go somewhere and it finds ways to escape. Then, that air is replaced by incoming air: through the chimney, the furnace flue, or even the water heater. This creates a continuous draft in the interior of your home.

When air isn’t coming in through your HVAC system — that’s a problem. Because it isn’t getting filtered, you could get dust, humidity, dirt, and even carbon monoxide (CO). This can not only potentially damage your home, but it can also be dangerous to you and your family due to high levels of CO or mold growth.

What You Can Do to Reduce Heating & Cooling Costs

Although closing doors isn’t a good idea, there are a number of things you can do to reduce heating and cooling costs.

If you do have to have some doors closed, you can have “transfer grills” installed to keep the air from getting pressurized. It’s best to consult/work with an expert on that because if they are not installed properly they don’t work as well.

Other effective energy efficiency tips:

  • Replace your filters on a regular basis
  • Keep the outdoor HVAC unit clear of debris, weeds, and other encroaching plants
  • Vacuum the vents (particularly if you have pets)
  • Replace old thermostats

The most effective way to maintain good efficiency with your air conditioning and heating system is to keep it maintained well. Routine maintenance serves a number of important functions:

  • Facilitates HVAC systems to run at their top efficiency and effectiveness
  • Promotes healthy indoor air quality
  • Prolongs the life of the HVAC system
  • Catches minor issues before they turn into major repairs
  • Spots safety hazards homeowners can’t see

The Comfort Authority is dedicated to keeping you and your family comfortable and safe all year round. We guarantee customer satisfaction and have highly affordable prices for our services. We’re proud to be known as the highest-rated air conditioning company in Tampa Bay.

To schedule an appointment or a Home Comfort Assessment, give us a call at (813) 518-8030. You can also contact us online here.

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