About "Ask the Energy Expert"
Craig Muccio runs FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunches the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.
Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here
Asked on: July 14, 2014 by Merlyn P., Port St. Lucie
I live in a four bedroom house and all my kids are gone. If I close the A/C vents in the extra rooms, will I save on my bill?
Closing air conditioning vents in unoccupied rooms will not lower your electric bill. In fact, the opposite could occur. That’s because closing a vent restricts the air flow to the various rooms in your home, which means your A/C will need to run even longer to maintain your desired temperature. The end result could be you spending more, not less.
A closer look
It may seem counterintuitive at first. But think of it like this: closing an A/C vent has the same effect as a dirty air filter. If your filter is dirty, it restricts air flow, reducing the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. The same thing happens with closed vents.
Doors: Open versus closed
Now you may be wondering about the doors to these unoccupied rooms. Should you close them or keep them open? The same recommendation holds true for the doors as well. You should leave the doors to unoccupied rooms at least partially open to allow free air flow throughout your house.
How to save
To save on your bill, we suggest you keep vents and doors open and cool your home at 78 degrees or warmer. And, for additional savings, raise the thermostat to 82 degrees or warmer when you are away.
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