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Jersey Shore Homes HVAC Vents: Why You Should Keep Them Open

When it comes to Jersey shore homes, HVAC vents are an equally important component to the proper operation and efficiency of your system. Many homeowners mistakenly think that closing vents to save money in unused rooms or to direct air to other rooms saves money and directs air flow. this practice can actually can cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently and damage your AC or furnace, costing you more in the long run.

Like we always say at Joe Hurley, HVAC systems are designed to be balanced systems. This means that the ductwork was sized for the amount of air going in to equal the volume of air going out. The blower pulls air from the house through the return ducts and then pushes it back into the house through the supply ducts. Thus, closing vents changes the balance of your HVAC system.

By closing vents, you’re not allowing your system to work less but instead increasing the pressure in your air ducts. That increase in pressure causes problems for a blower that was designed to deliver a certain amount of air against a certain amount of pressure. Depending on the type of blower you have (PSC being the most common), closing air vents can cause different problems such as causing the blower to slow down because it can’t handle the added pressure. This means your home becomes “oxygen deprived,” which could cause your air conditioner’s evaporator coil (that cools the air) to get too cold and actually freeze.

Closing vents in winter can bring its own problems as the heat exchanger in your furnace could overheat and crack, which could lead to carbon monoxide exposure in your home. In some
systems where the blower can adjust its speed to different conditions, closing the air vents will force the blower to work harder to overcome the extra pressure, resulting in a much higher energy bill.
Your ducts are particularly vulnerable to leakage due to the added pressure of closing vents, and these small leaks could eventually become larger. The result is a higher bill and an inefficient system where you’re now paying to heat or cool the attic or the crawlspace in ways that weren’t planned in the original installation. Additionally, with a PSC blower delivering less air, your home will take much longer to cool off or heat up, causing your system to run for longer periods of time.

Closing vents can also potentially foster mold growth as cold air and warm air meet to create condensation. This is a byproduct of leaks in the ductwork where the hot humid air from the attic mixes with the cool air-conditioned air to create mold.

For New Jersey Homes, HVAC systems need to be designed for the particular home and the heating and cooling load based on volume insulation envelope integrity and use conditions. While closing a single vent in your home will not cause immediate problems, but attempting to close off multiple vents for long periods of time will have lasting detrimental effects. It may seem counterintuitive that you can save money by keeping all of the vents open, but the reality is that this practice uses less energy and extends the life of the HVAC system in the long run.

For more information on how to best care for Jersey Shore homes and HVAC as well as for homes throughout Ocean, Monmouth and Mercer County, call Joe Hurley today at 732.660.1600.