Ends 1/10 at 9PM PT. Price Plunge has a 2-pack of Vent-Miser Programmable Energy Saving Vents (brown or white, 4 sizes available) for $8 + $3 shipping = $11 shipped.The battery operated built-in timer can be set to shut down vents in unoccupied rooms and force the air into other parts of your home.
Retail: $30

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    rosiesbar Ben's cred: 64
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    Myself Ben's cred: 202
    Posted 6:36 am PST 01/10/14

    Pretty much. Assuming your system is properly balanced in the first place, you can close a small portion of the vents without screwing anything up too much, but A) that's a big assumption, and B) most houses only actually have 6 or 7 vents, so closing 2 is enough to throw it off quite a bit.

    That being said, if you're reading this, CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTER, people! All those case-quantities of Filtrete that we keep buying because they're unspeakably cheap? Use 'em! Change it every month or two.

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    muzhik Ben's cred: 79
    Posted 7:09 am PST 01/10/14

    never ever close the vents... it will kill your furnace really quick, see first post

    Very Happy

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    energyx Ben's cred: 37
    Posted 7:44 am PST 01/10/14

    +1 on the bad idea to close vents

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    kreation Ben's cred: 44
    Posted 7:57 am PST 01/10/14

    more JUNKs to your home

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    Toby Ben's cred: 74
    Posted 8:42 am PST 01/10/14

    Thanks #1, one learns something new every day. I am very guilty of doing this in summer but no more.

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    envador Ben's cred: 37
    Posted 8:57 am PST 01/10/14

    I had no idea closing vents was counter productive, even harmful. Thanks for pointing this out, everyone.

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    Crash And Burn Ben's cred: 457
    Posted 9:12 am PST 01/10/14

    Many furnaces are two stage or variable burner so only run 100% on the coldest days if properly sized. In my house due to large open stairways I have to close vents on a given floor depending on the season or it over heats or cools one of them. Did that with my old single stage 92% eff furnace for decades with no problems. I recently replaced it just because my A/C crapped out with a 96% one. Furnaces have temperature sensors to prevent overheating the exchangers. As always just cause you saw something on the internet doesn't make it true. Not saying this auto vent is a good idea or not but it obviously blocks some of the airflow when open so will reduce what can be delivered to the room.

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    dave_c Ben's cred: 3642
    Posted 11:19 am PST 01/10/14

    A lifetime ago I did HVAC installation for new buildings. Some of the ideas presented are true but not as much as suggested. I'd go as far as closing 30% of the vents but no more than that.

    There's no particular balancing factor beyond what is naturally occurring. The BTU of the furnace is calculated based on square footage and climate, and # of vents based on room size and location. Same size furnace may have more or fewer vents in a particular installation and flow rate through them depends on the building layout and furnace location.

    It is true that if too many vents are closed it will negatively effect burner and motor heat buildup, but there's plenty of margin to close a few vents. The more common reason to do it isn't to save power though, it's that distant rooms with more bends in the ducts tend to receive less airflow so when you set the thermostat to a temperature then you go room to room and close vents the amount needed to get the coldest room to reach the thermostat setting and the rest to a flow rate that matches that. Otherwise you have to add assist blowers or in-duct dampers that add to cost or noise and you may still need to adjust room vents.

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    DEguy Ben's cred: 92
    Posted 12:01 pm PST 01/10/14

    I was about to add a comment but then noticed that dave_c got it right. More interesting problems occur with central AC systems where duct resistance, filter size, MERV ratings and supply vent closing all affect flow rate over the coils. The latter usually must be at least 400 ft3/min/ton of capacity. All air handler blowers are rated and the parameters within the tolerated resistance ranges provided by the manufacturers. This is also why it's a bad idea to use thin filters with high MERV ratings.

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    day2z Ben's cred: 17
    Posted 12:04 pm PST 01/10/14

    My thermostat has been on the fritz lately, so I've been regulating the house temperature by closing all of the vents, when necessary. Am I correct to understand that this is not a good idea?

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