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Should You Close Your Basement Vents During the Summer?

Your basement vents help control the health of your home. Should you leave them open in the summer or close them up?

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As summer temperatures start to climb, homeowners throughout Denver, CO, can put their HVAC systems through their paces. If you’re looking to cut costs this summer, you may consider closing off the vents in rooms that you don’t use too frequently, including your basement.

While closing off these vents can have its benefits, there are some drawbacks to the practice that you’ll want to consider. It’s best, in the long run, to manage your basement vents with care, or you’ll risk damaging your HVAC system.

basement vents

The Benefits of Closing Your Basement Vents

In many cases, closing off your basement vents can be a cost-effective decision for homeowners. If you’re not using your basement as frequently as other parts of your home, there’s little reason to control the temperature there are closely as you would the more-frequented areas. In closing off your air vents, you can lower your energy bill and use that money elsewhere.

Note that in closing these vents, the other parts of your home will not receive the air you have denied your basement. If you want to cool other parts of your home more specifically, it’s worth it to invest in room-based HVAC units or fans. Even an individual dehumidifier can help you control the moisture levels and temperatures of independent rooms in your home.

The Side Effects of Closing Your Basement Vents

Cost-efficiency aside, there are some drawbacks to closing off your basement vents. These can include:

  • Backed-up air pressure – As mentioned, the air you deny your basement isn’t going to migrate to the other rooms in your home. Instead, if you leave the vents in your basement closed for too long, you may experience a vent backup. These backups can put significant strain on your vents as well as your HVAC system and actually cost you money in the long run.
  • Leaks – Vent backups that go unattended can also evolve into leaks, if the pressure becomes too much for your vents to handle. An air vent leak will cause your energy bill to skyrocket while temperatures throughout your basement begin to fluctuate.
  • Frozen AC coils – If you’ve been running your air conditioning for a considerable amount of time prior to a leak, that released air can cause problems for the hardware you have at work. If there’s moisture in the air near your coils, that air backup can circulate around said hardware and freeze your coils before you have a chance to reach out for professional guidance. Not only will it be more difficult to temperature-control your home, but you’ll have to invest in HVAC system repairs as well as duct repairs.

Contending with Air Vent Leaks

If you find yourself dealing with an air leak, you’ll want to work quickly to identify it and seal it off. It can be difficult to know when these leaks erupt. As you’re caring for your home, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these warning signs:

  • Higher electric bills
  • Less pleasant air, or air with dust particles
  • Inconsistent temperatures throughout your home

The trick to treating an air vent leak is to identify where the damage has been done. This can be difficult if you don’t have experience in vent repair, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You can use the smoke from a candle or a lighter to determine where a leak in your vents is. Alternatively, it’s best to take the following steps before reaching out to an area expert:

  • Check your vent system for signs of damage that you can spot from the outside.
  • Turn on your HVAC system and follow the air pressure to the spot where it’s the weakest.

Can You Safely Close Your Vents During the Summer?

With all of that in mind, is it a good idea to close your basement vents during the summer?

In the short term, yes. By closing your vents intermittently, you can save money on bills throughout the hottest months of the year. That said, you’ll want to rotate which vents you have closed to avoid air blockages and vent damage. You should also never leave a vent closed for more than two days at a time.

If you need help determining where in your home a leak may be coming from, the experts working in Denver, CO, can help. After a thorough home inspection from Complete Basement Systems, you can reference your free services quote to determine what repairs you may need to invest in to bring your home back up to snuff.

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