Does shutting vents save energy

You might think that closing the vents and doors to unused rooms in your house would be a good way to lower your heating and cooling bills; but it can actually cause problems for the HVAC system in your home, since central heating and cooling systems are sized to accommodate a specific amount of square footage.

If you reduce the amount of square footage the system heats and cools, it will cause your furnace or air conditioner to cycle on and off more frequently. This results in additional wear and tear on the unit, and makes it harder for the HVAC system to regulate the humidity level in your house.

So your best bet is to leave the heating/cooling vents open in all the rooms of your house, and keep the doors open as well. If doors to rooms need to be closed, make sure there’s 1/2″ or larger gap between the door and floor to allow air to circulating freely throughout your home.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Vincent has this question, “Will I save money by closing off the vents in unused rooms, and closing the doors to those rooms?”

You know, you would think if you closed off a few rooms around your house, and shut down all of the air conditioning and heating going into those rooms, you’d actually save money on your energy bill. Well, that’s a myth, and here’s why.

A modern central air conditioning and heating system is designed and sized for a certain amount of square footage. If you turn down and shut off some of that square footage, it’ll still heat and cool; but it’ll do it in a much different fashion, because it’s what they call short-cycling.

It’ll turn on, turn off, turn on, and it will provide a lot more wear and tear on your system, and it’s not going to last as long. And at the end of the day, you’re actually going to be spending just as much or more on your energy bill.

So, it’s better to leave the doors open, and make sure you’re not turning off any air conditioning and heating vents, anywhere in your home.


Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.