Is It Okay to Close Vents in Unused Rooms?

One of the common frustrations for homeowners when using their HVAC system is not getting even heating or cooling throughout the home. Or, more specifically, not getting the warm or cool air directed where they need it most – as in, the rooms in the home that are used most frequently. With that in mind, some homeowners resort to closing heating vents in unused rooms as a way to control airflow. But is closing HVAC registers a good idea? This article will take a closer look.


To get help with your HVAC system in and around, Greensboro, Eden and the Burlington area, be sure to reach out to Berico for assistance.


The Quick Answer is Don’t Over Do It

The reasoning for using this technique to control how your HVAC system operates is understandable, but upon closer inspection, it’s not a great idea to close the registers in more than a few rooms. At the core of the problem is the fact that your system was designed to heat or cool the entire house. When the equipment was selected to put in the home, it was picked because it was the right size for the square footage that needs to be managed. By shutting down too many of the vents, you are effectively changing the square footage that is being heated or cooled – but the size and capacity of the HVAC equipment didn’t change at all.


In the end, this mismatch is bad for your system. You’ll be cutting off some of the airflow that the system is designed to handle, and you will also put some pressure on the ducts by backing up air rather than letting it freely flow out into the rooms. In the best case, this will cause your system to work slightly less efficiently and effectively than it should – but you might wind up causing damage to the equipment. It’s best to leave all of your vents open and turn to other methods to manage how the space is heated and cooled throughout the year.


The Ideal Solution

Rather than picking and choosing what vents to open and close, the better way to go is to opt for a zone control system in the house. With zone control, your HVAC equipment will have the ability to manage different temperature levels in different areas, removing the problem that you were trying to solve by manipulating the vents.


The perfect example of how this solution can work is seen in two-story houses. It is often the case that the second story is significantly warmer than the first floor. This is a problem in the summer because cooling the downstairs to a comfortable temperature will mean that the upstairs is still too hot – and that’s usually where the bedrooms are located. Then, in the winter, warming the upstairs rooms to a comfortable range will leave the downstairs too cold.


By adding zone control that is divided by floor, all of these issues go away. Suddenly, you have the ability to dial in the right temperature on both floors at the same time with just the push of a button. Talk to Berico today about adding zone control to your HVAC system and get better performance than ever before.