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Take 3 minutes to help your neighbors in need

You can help your neighbors in need right now by visiting www.SupportLIHEAP.org. In less than three minutes, you can contact your members of Congress to urge their support for continued funding for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).      Relief from the heat isn’t always as easy as adjusting the thermostat, […]


Robotics competition excites future engineers, computer scientists and other high-tech professionals

For the second year in a row, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting the FIRST Robotics South Florida Regionals Competition, an incredible combination of hard work and pure fun. You may wonder what a high school robotics competition has to do with maintaining Florida Power & Light Company’s current fleet of modern fuel-efficient power plants. […]


Together, we're always ready when you need us most

On the ten-year anniversary of Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne and Frances, our Vice President & Chief Communications Officer, Rob Gould, shares his thoughts on what we’ve learned during the past ten years and how our new partnership with the Florida National Guard is one way we’re doing our part to be ready when the next major […]


2014 Power to Care Makes A Difference Across the State

There’s nothing like helping someone else. Studies show that the more people volunteer, the happier they are. It connects you to others, it’s good for your mind and body, it’s fun! This past week, more than 1,300 NextEra Energy employees and their families in Florida were able to get out and do something nice for our […]


Ensuring Reliability

Getting your life back to normal faster after a storm

As president of Florida Power & Light Company, Eric Silagy leads the thousands of employees who bring affordable, reliable power to you every day. He’s raising his family here in the sunshine state, something that fuels his drive to always look for ways to make tomorrow better for all of us. If you’ve experienced a […]


Old Poles Have New Life as Artificial Reefs

If you’re a local diver, angler and anyone who loves the ocean, I’ve got good news. You can now enjoy two new artificial reefs that were created using a donation of concrete FPL poles, right off the coast of St. Lucie County. Consider it  a new take on recycling! One of the things I love […]


Restoring power -- anytime, anywhere

From time to time, you may see an FPL truck parked near your home late at night, possibly even when your power is working just fine. Don’t be alarmed. Our crews work around the clock to restore power, and they may need to work on equipment located near you to resolve an outage in your […]


Energy Efficiency

Students see solar energy in action

Schools across Florida are using our state’s sunshine to help power classrooms and teach kids about clean energy. Through FPL’s Solar Pilot Program, nearly 100 schools and other educational facilities will be getting special solar-panel displays by the end of 2014. While installing solar panels can be out of reach for many Floridians, these facilities […]


Craig Muccio

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

Open vents vs. closed – Which lowers A/C costs?

By Craig Muccio

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.

Get more expert energy saving advice by following our Ask the Expert column monthly and remember you can submit your own question here.

You can also take our Online Home Energy Survey to get a personalized savings plan filled with energy-saving tips and recommendations. It’s easy and can save you up to $250 a year.

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Comments [7]

  1. Kathleen Kowalski

    Would like to reduce my energy consumption.

  2. Victor Harris

    I understand the logic of the of the open vents but in my 2 bedroom house the unused bedroom is 1st vent in what is basicly a large main duck down the middle of the house, there are no branch ducts, all vents are off the main duct. If I leave that 1st vent open anymore than a crack that room is freezing and the rest of the house is hot. Is there any way to correct this? Thank you

  3. Natalie Brunner


  4. Cammy canfield

    I have the long Fluorescent tube bulbs in my kitchen. My question in a very short Answer can you tell meTo save energy and money when leaving the room for more than one hour should I turn them off or leave them on? I was Taught to leave them on for extended amount of time.

  5. Paul Bergman

    You sent an Email with a suggestion for snowbirds, where you described an energy saving method, where the thermostat was set to 90 for most of the time, and to 72 for approximately 2 hours, at dawn. Could you reprint that suggestion for me ?

  6. Robert A Suter

    Why was the 24th of July posted on the energy dashboard on Jul 25th and then on the 26th of July the energy dashboard only showed the informationm as of midnight the 23rd of July? The energy usage dashboard is to help the customer manage thier power consumption and it does not do that if the information incorrect, missing or deleted.

  7. Jorge Nunez

    I have installed 3 exhaust roof solar powered fans and one solar powered air make up fan. One more make up fan will be installed shortly. Fans are rated about 1300 ACFM. I also have installed an A/C condenser water cooling system. I also installed a roof cooling system to get those BTU's out. In your energy survey you don't have any spaces to place these devices. When you don't have any data available because of Smart meter problems, how do you evaluate the correct amount of Kwhrs per hour to use? Jorge


FPL reserves the right to edit any user submissions to "Ask the Energy Expert" for brevity or clarity. Publication of readers' questions or comments is at the sole discretion of FPL.