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The use of your heater, and HVAC system in general, is a large portion of the overall energy bill of the whole house. You might think that if you close vents in rooms that you do not use it will conserve energy that is used to heat the house. A homeowner only wants to spend money on the heat and energy that they actually use but if you close the vents in a room, serious problems can exist.

Many people and even HVAC professionals say that it is beneficial to close vents that are in unused rooms. Not only is this false, but closed vents can increase the wear and tear on the whole system.

Problems With Closed Vents

  • Duct leaks begin to increase
  • Blowers have lower air flow
  • Blowers will increase in energy
  • Low air flow
  • Air conditioner coil can freeze
  • Failed compressor
  • Dysfunctional heat exchanger, this can result in a release of carbon monoxide.
  • Condensation and mold due to the lower temperature throughout the winter and cold season.


The duct system becomes more restricted once the vents are closed in rooms that don’t need to have conditioned air. This will cause the various motors to act ineffectively. The type of blower doesn’t matter, when high pressure is added against the blower that is not a good thing.

Many systems also do not have sealed ductwork. The added pressure from the closed vents will cause higher risk for duct leakage. When the vent is closed the air is not directed into the house. Therefore, pressure buildup will occur and small leaks will increase into more serious leaks throughout the ductwork.

Although it might sound counter-intuitive to leave the vents open in rooms that are being unused, the benefits and the amount of money you can save on system repairs is greater. Depending on how restrictive the system and ductwork are, you might be able to close one or two vents in the home. But also keep in mind that closing one vent could push a system over the edge.