Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Shutting Off Heating Vents in Summer

In a 2 storey home with an older furnace a common issue is the difference in temperate between the main and upper levels during the summer. A common but incorrect solution is closing vents. People think that if they close vents on the main floor, the system will push more cool air to the upper floor.

This strategy will often give you poorer cooling performance. When you are getting your furnace maintenance done our technician can assess your equipment. The repairman will take into account the age and size of motor, how it cycles, the duct-work, number of air returns and vents.

If you have a minimal number of vents you should not close any. If you have more vents than you need then perhaps you can shut some. In general, it is normally OK to close vents in a basement. It is on the main floor that you probably do not want to close any vents.

Your furnace fan is moving cool air in the summer months. If you reduce the number of exit points for the cool air, your furnace fan can no longer move as much air.

We think that by closing vents, we are able to force the air to go where we want, which is up. When we close vents we are actually restricting air flow. That means less cool air circulating through your home.

A better solution to keeping your second floor cooler is to run your furnace fan continuously. Without a fan running, the air in your home stratifies, with warm air moving to the highest levels of the house. With the fan running, the air is constantly mixing.

Many people are surprised to find out that when they replace their furnace, the air conditioning works better. That’s because new furnaces have more efficient fans that move more air.

A ductless split is another solution for cooling higher floors. With a ductless split, cool air can be delivered from high on a wall on your upper floor. Cool air naturally drops, so this makes more sense than your furnace trying to deliver cool air from the basement.

Your annual maintenance call is a great time to ask your technician the best way to operate your home comfort equipment. If you have questions, you can call us anytime at (519)451-8910.