Texas summers are scorching hot, but nothing burns more than throwing away money on wasted electricity.
Naturally, you’re looking for ways to cut down on electricity usage.
There’s a widely shared hack that claims to keep your electricity costs down:
Close the doors and vents to seal off the spaces you aren’t using to keep the cool air in one room.
It sounds like common sense, right?
You may be shocked to find that closing doors are more likely to cause your electricity usage to move in the wrong direction.
In this guide, you’ll learn why closing doors to unused parts of your home does not save electricity usage and five tips that promise to keep more money in your pocket when your next electricity bill comes.
With over 80% of Texans using central air conditioners, it’s no surprise that each sweltering summer sends us all looking for ways to keep electricity usage and costs low.
We’ve tried nearly every trick in the book.
But does closing doors save energy?
Surprisingly, the answer to that question is no.
Sealing off unused rooms may seem like a smart way to save energy on cooling your home.
On the contrary, it can affect your home’s air pressure, creating drafts that can cause expensive and potentially dangerous conditions.
Keep reading to find out why you may want to pass on this idea and how to avoid a regrettable situation that may send you into a meltdown.
And if you’re truly looking to save money without sweating the small stuff, check out the many electricity plans Gexa Energy offers to accommodate every price point.
Not to mention all residential plans are 100% green so you can save money and the planet at the same time.
Most people don’t realize that closing off rooms and vents is likely to cause more harm than good.
It can actually force your HVAC system to work harder to circulate air.
Sending your HVAC system into overdrive can cause major damage to your home air conditioning system and your wallet.
To understand why sealing off rooms isn’t a good idea, let’s first dive into how your HVAC system circulates air throughout your home.
You may not feel it, but there is a constant flow of air moving in and around your home.
Your HVAC system is continuously working to maintain this circulation of air. Here’s how:
The air conditioner recycles air by drawing hot air out of your home, cooling it, and sending the chilled air back through the system.
When you close a door to a room, the block of airflow causes a draft and pressurizes the room.
The draft pushes air out through small openings and spaces like doors and windows.
When the air is forced into the pressurized room, the room starts to leak air through any other tiny gaps like those around baseboards and electrical outlets.
The intake vents in the HVAC system pull air from each room, but closing doors and creating drafts in rooms is like putting a kink in a water hose.
Since the air conditioner isn’t receiving enough air from the pressurized room, it draws air from pathways with less resistance.
These pathways often have direct openings to warmer outside air, which takes more energy to cool and return inside your home, costing you more money.
Now your HVAC system is working twice as hard to keep your home cool.
If you find yourself asking “should I leave interior doors open or closed during heating?” the answer is the same as it is for cooling:
If you want your HVAC system to work efficiently, keep all interior doors in your home open as much as possible.
Now imagine that your HVAC system works like a circulatory machine that needs equal and unobstructed air pressure for both intake and output.
Sealing off rooms and vents can result in pricey and dangerous consequences to your HVAC system and your health.
Closed doors and vents in one room will block that continuous flow needed to keep your HVAC system balanced. Those vents can cause the ducts to become pressurized and begin to leak.
In the summer, that leak can lead to condensation freezing on the cooling coils of the air conditioner and hazardous carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter.
There are many other ways to reduce electricity costs without closing off rooms.
Let’s take a look at five tips you can try today that will keep your family safe and your debit card even safer.
Whether you own or rent your home, checking the insulation and caulking can prevent you from losing precious cool air to small leaks around windows or doors.
Permanent and non-permanent caulk can seal up any crack and help keep the temperature levels comfortable in your home.
Taking on a small do-it-yourself task like caulking can make a big difference when it comes to long-term electricity savings.
In fact, you might be able to save as much as 5-10% on your energy bill on average by fixing air leaks with weather-stripping and caulking.
One of the best ways to keep your home cool during a hot summer is to keep the sunlight out.
Closing all blinds, shades, drapes, and other window coverings will create shade and lower temperatures.
If you don’t have them already, opt for shades or drapes with light-colored lining that will reflect heat from the sun rather than absorb it.
If you have east-to-west facing windows, vertical blinds are the most effective at keeping the warmth out.
Window films and exterior window treatments are also inexpensive options that can have a huge impact on lowering your electricity usage.
Ventilation is a cheap and energy-efficient way to keep temperatures low.
By improving air circulation, you also help your HVAC system move cool air throughout your home.
You can use ceiling fans, floor or window fans, and exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to increase air circulation from room to room.
It’s important to check and clean your air filters monthly, and replace them as needed.
Put this task at the top of your monthly homeowner chores.
A clean air filter means uninterrupted airflow to your air conditioning system, avoiding blockages that can lead to a breakdown.
Another important tip is to keep up-to-date with routine maintenance of your HVAC system.
Just like a car, your HVAC system needs a system tune-up to keep things running smoothly and prepare it for heavy usage.
That means a maintenance check before the summer and winter months will ensure your system is in tip-top shape for the hard work to come.
Looking for more ways to save big on your next electricity bill?
Gexa Energy has a plan to fit every household’s energy needs and budget.
With 100% renewable residential plans, you can rest assured you’re getting a top-notch energy plan with a great rate.
And if that still doesn’t relax your mind, Gexa Energy’s Happiness Guarantee* will put you at ease knowing you’re taken care of.
At Gexa Energy, finding the right plan for you is easy with so many options to choose from.
There are a few alternatives to the traditional energy plans Gexa offers that won’t have you eyeballing the thermostat
While traditional electricity plans fluctuate costs based on usage, a fixed-rate plan stays consistent every month, putting you in control of your energy charges each month.
But fixed-rate plans aren’t one-size-fits-all.
That’s why Gexa Energy lets you lock in a low fixed rate for one year based on your average usage.
With one of Gexa’s fixed-rate plans, you can avoid any volatile seasonal changes in energy prices and get comfortable with your energy charges for twelve months.
Get more free electricity than any other provider with Gexa’s free energy plans.
Enjoy time off from energy charges during a specific time with electricity that’s F-R-E-E.
For instance, the Gexa Free 3-Day Weekends Electricity plan allows you to get more out of your weekends with the entire weekend free of charge, beginning at midnight on Friday and ending at midnight on Monday.
If you prefer the control over your electricity charges with a fixed-rate plan or the freedom to spend weekends worry-free with a free energy plan, Gexa Energy has a plan to suit your lifestyle and your checkbook.
Gexa Energy purchases renewable energy credits (RECs) from renewable generation resources throughout North America to match 100% of the energy sold under your electric plan. The RECs Gexa purchases represent the renewable attributes of power generated from a variety of renewable energy sources, including, but not limited to, the sun, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave or tidal energy, and biomass or biomass-based waste products, including landfill gas.
* Happiness Guarantee - If you’re not happy with your new Gexa Energy residential plan, just call us within 60 days of your service activation date, change to another available Gexa Energy plan, and we’ll waive the early cancellation fee on your first plan; applies one time only for new Gexa Energy residential customers. Your contract term will restart with your second plan. Offer subject to change or withdrawal prior to customer acceptance.