Should you open or close interior doors when running heat?
An important ask of your HVAC system is to maintain the temperature inside your home, through the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons. However, a question that may be troubling you this fall is whether or not you can leave your interior doors open or closed when running the heat in your home. Below, we’ll cover the answer and how you can more efficiently use your heating system this year.
Opened or Closed Doors?
Since your heating and cooling systems are designed to maintain a consistent temperature in your home, you may be wondering if you should keep your doors opened or closed in your home. During the summer or winter, the costs of using your AC or furnace can quickly add up, which makes homeowners look for any way to improve their home’s energy efficiency. A unique concept to keep your utility costs low is to keep doors closed, but can it actually save you money in the long run? The answer to this is yes, since it can limit air circulation in your home and require less rooms to be cooled or heated. However, air can still seep under closed doors, so it won’t keep your rooms the same temperature for long. A significant factor to consider whether you should have doors open or closed is your square footage. For example, if you have a smaller home and open your doors in the winter, the internal temperature of your home is going to drop quickly. But in a larger home, it will take much more time.
Closed Doors Hinder Airflow
Contrary to common belief, closing off a room can actually make your heating less efficient. When interior doors are kept shut, the pressure in the room increases because the flow of air is now blocked. The air in the pressurized room will not stay in the room; it will find ways to get out. Any air that escapes will be replaced in an equal amount by outside air. This effectively increases the amount of air being pulled in from 300 percent to 900 percent, which can have a serious effect on your energy bills. This air will enter from the chimney, water heater, or furnace flue and make your home feel drafty. Additionally, since this air is not entering through the HVAC system and is not being filtered, the air quality in your home will lower. This air can contain anything, including dust, dirt, humidity, and carbon monoxide. Over time, this can lead to dangerous results. It can damager your home, lead to mold growth, and negatively impact the health of the people who live in your home.
How to Boost Energy Efficiency
There are still a few ways that you can keep your doors closed without impacting the efficiency of your HVAC system. One solution involves cutting out a small section at the bottom on the door. This, however, is not the most popular option as many homeowners do not want to destroy their doors for the sake of energy efficiency. Another method is installing cold air returns in every room. This may cost a bit of money upfront as it requires cutting holes and installing ducts in every room. However, some homeowners find the long-term savings to be worth it.
Perhaps the best way to improve energy efficiency while keeping your doors closed is by installing transfer grills. These devices allow air to flow freely between rooms and hallways. They are opaque, unnoticeable, and can be placed into a door, above the door frame, or next to the door. If you are interested in the solution, contact Beam HVAC to help you determine what will make your home the most efficient.