Closing heat registers to economize


Old 02-13-06, 11:04 AM
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Question Closing heat registers to economize

Our natural gas bill is skyrocketing. We are thinking about shutting off the dining room and living room (seldom use them) to save on the heating bill. Would closing the five heat registers cause a problem with the furnace, duct system, etc.

Would shutting off those rooms (total of about 380 sq. ft.) actually save much money?

Thanks for any info.
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Old 02-13-06, 02:56 PM
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No, you won't save much by doing that. You still will have the room cooling down, and most likely the t-stat is near that area.

By closing down the vents, may cause the equipement to over heat. When ti over heats, you may shorten the life of the heat exchanger.

How old is your equipement?

Have you had a good service clean up on it?

You lower the t-stat at night and away?

I would also suggest if you are in a family room, I'd turn down the t-stat, and get a nice space heater there.
Old 02-13-06, 03:02 PM
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Best bet is to lower the temp and add a sweater. Take a look and you might find some ways to save energy - we leave the front door cracked when the dog goes out so he can let himself back in. I stopped doing that and simply watch for him and open the door when he comes back and my bill went down quite a bit.
Old 02-13-06, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by notsohandy
Would closing the five heat registers cause a problem with the furnace, duct system, etc.
Yes. Your furnace is probably too big to begin with.

Would shutting off those rooms (total of about 380 sq. ft.) actually save much money?
Yes, if you can shut the door to those rooms (but it will be harder on the furnace which might end up with the burner cycling on and off a lot). You need to maintain airflow. Closing one duct is probably no problem. But shutting down five or six sounds like a lot.
Old 02-13-06, 07:33 PM
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Take this for what its worth. This is only my opinion. I am an engineer by trade so I am probably wrong.
During December and Jan I ran the furnaces with the same T'stat programs. After I got both of my bills for both months, I went to the national weather service website and obtained the actual degree days for each day in the billing cycle. With the Total degree days for the month and the know gas consumption and average T'stat setpoint, I was able to estimate my house's design heat loss. In Jan I put up those plastic windows covers, sealed some cracks and closed off one room upstairs which is about 160 sq feet. The difference between the two months was about 6.5% savings.
So, If I would have done this in Dec, my $450 bill may have only been $420. I think I spent $50 on the window covers and great stuff foam.
Your bill is directly related to your home's resistance to heat transfer (insulation), the amount of area exposed the outside temperature, and the difference between the outside temperature and your t'stat. You need a noticable change in one of these areas in order to have a noticable change in your bill.

But I digress.. If you do this you will potentially save money, but at the end of the month are you going to notice your bill was $10 less.
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