Whenever the warm summer months roll around in the Southwest, homeowners start to wonder if shutting their heating vents will help keep their house cool while also knocking a few bucks off their energy bill.
While shutting a few heating vents in the summer can help conserve energy, it certainly isn’t a long-term solution. When it comes to cooling your house down, there are other methods you can use to beat the heat and stay safe from heat exhaustion.
Shutting Heating Vents in the Summer to Conserve Energy
Shutting the heating vents in your basement or another room you don’t use very often is a great way to reduce energy expenses during the summer months. That being said, it isn’t something you should do for more than two or three days at a time.
Leaving vents closed for extended periods can cause damage and expensive leaks. That’s why we recommend rotating which vents you close every few days. Doing so will help keep your HVAC system in great shape and lower your monthly energy bill.
Closing Heating Vents in the Summer Can Have the Opposite Effect
Many homeowners believe that closing heating vents in unused rooms will force cool air to travel to areas they spend more time in, but it can actually have the opposite effect. That’s right, closing your heating vents can decrease your HVAC system’s cooling ability.
However, if you have an excessive number of vents in your home, it won’t hurt to close one or two of them. You can also get away with shutting basement vents, as long as you don’t close too many vents on your main floor.
Keep Your House Cool This Summer Without Shutting Your Heating Vents
A more effective way to keep your house cool is to keep your furnace fan on throughout the day. Cool air will circulate through your home, preventing warm air from settling in the upper floors.
If you want to go the extra mile to stay comfortable this summer, you can also replace your furnace. Since newer furnace models have more powerful fans, installing a new one will maximize the flow of cool air throughout your home.
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Additional Solutions for Cooling Your Home
There are many ways to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency and keep your home comfortable during the summer months that don’t involve shutting your heating vents. For starters, installing insulation for your attic can prevent heat from entering your home, keeping you and your family cool and safe when temperatures rise.
Revamping your attic’s insulation will keep your house cooler because you’ll be able to fill gaps and cover vents where hot air is entering. You’ll also be able to opt for a more effective insulating material that will offer increased protection from warm air.
Installing insulation is just one way you can beat the heat without shutting heating vents. Here are some other steps you can take this summer to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and keep your home at a comfortable temperature:
- Keep the area around your outdoor AC unit free from debris
- Change your filters on a regular basis
- Remove obstruction from vents
- Keep your use of heat-producing appliances, such as ovens, lamps, and dryers, to a minimum.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat to improve energy efficiency
Preventative Maintenance Can Keep Your AC Unit Working Properly
Trying to keep your house cool when your AC unit is in disrepair is a virtually impossible task. Your HVAC units need routine maintenance to stay in tip-top shape and provide the cooling power you need to cool your home.
Instead of shutting your heating vents this summer, sign up for a preventative maintenance plan with your local HVAC repair company. During a preventative maintenance visit, your HVAC tech will make minor repairs and adjustments to your AC unit. Their work will improve your unit’s efficiency and effectiveness, so you can stay cool and save energy.
Stay Cool During Summer Heat Waves Without Shutting Your Heating Vents
In the coming years, climate change is expected to cause an increase in temperatures in the U.S. southwest. The best way to protect yourself against rising temperatures is to make sure your AC is in good working order and follow these recommendations for keeping cool during a dangerous heat wave:
- Keep your most used rooms cool. If you own a ductless air conditioning system or a mini-split system, it can be used to cool specific areas of your home. During a heat wave, we suggest you only cool the rooms you use most often. That way, you stay comfortable and prevent the heat wave from affecting your HVAC’s cooling ability too much.
- Utilize fans. Floor and ceiling fans can help circulate air throughout your home, so warm air doesn’t settle in a room you use often. While fans don’t actually lower the temperature of a room, they can make it feel a few degrees cooler.
- Keep humidity levels in check. Most homeowners don’t have to worry about humidity in the dry climates of Arizona and Nevada. However, some homes have trouble handling even a little bit of humid air. If you find that your house is unusually humid during the summer months, consider investing in a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will scrub moisture from the air in your home and make it feel a bit cooler.
Ambient Edge Is Here to Help You Stay Cool and Save Money
If you’re planning on shutting your heating vents this summer to stay cool, you might want to reconsider and opt for a more effective cooling method. At Ambient Edge, we’re dedicated to providing homeowners with the information and HVAC services they need to keep their homes comfortable and safe all year long.
If your AC unit is underperforming, you’ll want to contact our team before temperatures get too high. We’ll send a technician to look at your unit and make the repairs it needs to run like new. If we find that it would be more cost-effective for you to replace your AC, we’ll help you find an energy-efficient unit that’s guaranteed to help you stay cool.