Register Regrets: 4 Mistakes You May be Making| Dolton, Oak Park

1. Placing Furniture Too Close to Registers: Your forced air furnace uses a system of ducts to move air around your home. Supply registers deliver heat to the rooms, and return registers bring cool air back to the furnace for heating. When a couch, drapery, chair, or any other piece of furniture blocks a register, that room will not receive adequate heating. Give each register some breathing room. Take a quick look around your home. You may be surprised by how many times you make this mistake.

2. Closing Only the Supply Register: A lot of bad advice has been floating around in the HVAC industry about closing off registers in unused rooms in order to save money. Unfortunately, many people are taking this advice without ever consulting a professional. As a result, several mistakes have been made that may end up drastically increasing energy bills rather than reducing them. The first mistake is made when the homeowner only closes the supply register and neglects to close the return register as well.

When this happens, the return register is still sucking cold air into the system, and it will pull cold air from any cracks around windows, joints, or outlets that are in the now un-heated room. The increase in cold air in the system will force the furnace to run for longer periods of time in order to meet the temperature requirements on the thermostat. This, in turn, wastes more energy than is saves.

3. Closing Registers without Sealing Duct work: Another problem associated with closing registers is heat loss through unsealed duct work. When you close off a room to heat, there is extra pressure added to the remaining open parts of the system. The hot air flowing through the system is pushed through any gaps or leaks that may exist in the duct work with more force because of the increase in pressure. This causes heat loss in areas of the home that house duct work but that are not heated like:

  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Attics
  • Garages
  • Any closed off rooms

Much of the heat that the furnace generates is wasted, and it never reaches the target rooms.

4. Closing Too Many Registers: Many people have made the mistake of closing too many registers, and the result was damage to the furnace. In order for a furnace to work properly, there needs to be proper air flow. When you close off over 50% of the vents in the home, you greatly reduce the airflow allowed through the furnace. Your big furnace that was sized to heat your entire home is now being choked. Often times this leads to overheating and operating on the high limit switch. This could cause major damage to the system and cost hundreds in furnace repair.

Consult the Pros!

If you are considering closing off vents in a particular room of the home, consult your Four Seasons serviceman while he is out for your yearly tune-up on the furnace. He will be able to give you expert advice on whether or not closing off a room is a good idea for your particular home. Don’t risk costly repairs or system failure, trust the pros at Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning.


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