Before you start closing air vents to save money on your heating bill this winter, there are a few things you should understand about how your furnace distributes warm air throughout your home. A 2003 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that leaving rooms unconditioned can actually cost a homeowner more money than if they left them open.

Closing air vents can cause more substantial duct system losses. The warm air doesn’t just flow into the rooms with open vents. It tries to get through the closed registers and creates pressure that causes the heat to leak through any unsealed sections of the ducts.

If you have a high-efficiency furnace, it’s possible to damage the unit by closing off unused rooms. Your furnace may be programmed to heat your home based on the total square footage. If you close your air vents, your furnace will work harder to heat your home, which may increase your heating bill.

It may be possible to save energy if you partially close the air vents farthest away from the furnace, but only if you close one or two. Never close more than 50 percent of your home’s air vents.

Keeping your furnace maintained and making sure all of your ducts are properly sealed can improve the efficiency of your furnace so it will keep you warm through the chilly Cincinnati winter.

To schedule your annual furnace maintenance or for expert advice on winter energy efficiency, contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve been serving the needs of greater Cincinnati since 1910.