Should Interior Doors be Open or Closed When Running Your HVAC?

Should Interior Doors be Open or Closed When Running Your HVAC?

It’s common practice to close interior doors to seldom-used rooms in a home to reduce the load on the HVAC equipment and save energy. If you’ve questioned the practice, understanding its effect on your HVAC system can provide some clarity about leaving doors open or closed.

What’s the Idea Behind Closing Some Interior Doors?

The idea of shutting the doors to rooms that aren’t occupied can seem logical if you take the view that it stops conditioned air from entering the space, so it’s not being wasted where it’s not needed. Another seemingly logical thought is that the HVAC system will have less square footage to heat or cool, so it can operate more efficiently.

How Closed Doors Affect Your HVAC

The fact is that closing some doors while your HVAC system is running can have a negative impact on its energy efficiency, overwork the equipment and degrade your indoor air quality. This happens because:

  • Conditioned air that’s delivered to the room stays trapped inside and doesn’t circulate back into the HVAC system through the closest return air duct. This causes an air pressure increase in the room, which forces conditioned air out through cracks or gaps into adjacent unconditioned areas.
  • After each cycle of your HVAC equipment, negative pressure is created in the room, so air gets pulled in through the cracks and gaps from the nearby unconditioned spaces. Particles and allergens are likely to get drawn in from those spaces, too, which can erode your air quality.
  • To compensate for the pressure imbalance caused by closed doors, your HVAC system has to work harder, which increases its energy consumption and puts extra strain and wear on the components.

Leaving Your Interior Doors Open Makes Good Sense

When you’re running the HVAC system, it’s wise to leave all your interior doors open. This ensures that air can flow freely through the system and you avoid pressurization problems, which helps your equipment operate efficiently and reliably.

If you have questions about shutting interior doors or other HVAC system concerns in your Monmouth County home, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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