Why You Shouldn’t Open and Close Registers in Your Home

There’s no place like home. It’s a place of pride, safety and comfort, or at least it should be.  But it’s hard to be comfortable if some rooms are too hot while others too cold.

Many homeowners resort to the opening-closing registers method to solve this problem.  What’s the harm, they feel? And besides, it’s a great way to save energy, right?


It can actually lead to HIGHER energy costs. It can even damage your HVAC system – and even risk dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Damage to your HVAC System

Many think closing registers simply re-directs air flow to another room. That sounds logical, but instead, you’re just pushing higher air pressure back into the system. Closed registers prevent equal air flow from moving through the system as it’s designed, leading to over- and under-temperature conditions.

This can cause overheating, damage to your blower motors, expansion of the ductwork leaks that are in every home, and even lead to a frozen coil and cracked heat exchanger. Replacing a blower motor can cost up to $600, and a heat exchanger can run between $1000-2000 – not what you intended at all!

In a large house with 20 registers, partially closing a few won’t cause damage, but it also won’t lead to much impact on comfort, either.

A zoning system controls static pressure at a safe and effective level – and therefore the temperature – with the help of multiple temperature sensors and control panels throughout the house that act as relief valves as needed.

Now your system is able to manage static pressure and temperature in a controlled manner by automatically adjusting when and where the system should run at full, partial or low capacity. As the moving sun raises temperatures around the house, or as your family’s usage during the day changes, you’re still comfortable at any time, in any weather, in all conditions.

  1. Wasted Energy and Lost Efficiency

We often see empty nesters closing off registers in those unused areas of the house. The problem is there’s already a lot of load on the second floor from heat on the roof and attic. Now that the registers are fully closed, you’ve just added more load to those areas. Even worse, those rooms are filled with warm, muggy air that is being pulled into the rest of the house, causing additional strain to the system as it’s trying to cool and dehumidify air from those rooms.

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In fact, your HVAC system was carefully sized when it was installed to condition the entire square footage of your home. Closing vents doesn’t decrease the amount of air flow coming from the system; it just forces the system to work extra harder to push it to other areas of the home.

Zoning solves all of these problems. By continuing to condition the air in unused rooms at a lower level, the system can continue to operate without the stress and inefficiencies that will lead to shorter equipment life.

  1. Bacteria Growth

Closing registers leads to condensation, which in turn leads to mildew, bacteria and odors. Keeping the registers and air vents open keeps your ductwork dry and minimizes the build-up of bacteria in your HVAC system.

  1. Carbon Monoxide

Who would have thought that closing a few registers would place your family at risk of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning! But that’s exactly what could occur with the cracked heat exchanger mentioned earlier. Because CO2 is tasteless and odorless, there’s no warning. Regardless of what you do with your registers or installing any zoning system, Arzel Zoning always recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector in every home.


What is Zoning?

The good news is that zoning is a safer and more efficient method to achieve ultimate comfort throughout your entire home.

HVAC zoning is the process of adjusting or upgrading your heating and cooling system so it delivers different comfort levels to each area of the home. This process allows you to set the temperature independently for each zoned area of your house. You might keep the bedrooms cooler at night while focusing your air conditioning on the kitchen and living room areas during the day. HVAC zoning gives you a higher degree of control and customization over the temperature in your home.


Find out more

The Arzel Zoning Solution

Arzel Zoning systems help homeowners save energy by eliminating the use of expensive and potentially dangerous portable heaters, fans and window air conditioners. Only Arzel offers:

If you’re struggling to balance comfortable temperatures throughout your home, Arzel Zoning can help you stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  Why resort to a flawed method like register control when a safer, more reliable method is well within your reach? It’s one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your home – and your family’s comfort!


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