Should You Keep Your Interior Doors Open or Closed While Your AC is Running?
Homeowners these days are often looking for small ways that they can cut back on their homes’ energy consumption, and there are many ways to do that. However, there are some energy-saving tips that might seem like a good idea in theory but don’t actually pan out so well in practice. One example of this is the advice to shut interior doors to unoccupied rooms in your home. Today we’re going to talk about what happens when you close the interior doors to rooms in your home and why you should think twice before doing it!
Why do people suggest closing interior doors while your air conditioner is running?
There are a couple of reasons why it might seem like a good idea to close interior doors in your home. For one, you might think that closing a door to a room will block your home’s primary airflow from getting into that room, which will keep the rest of your home cooler for a longer period of time. Another theory is that closing the door to a room means that your air conditioner will have less square footage that it needs to cool, allowing it to have shorter cooling cycles. But do either of these theories actually prove to be true?
What actually happens when you close interior doors while your air conditioner is running?
The truth is that closing the interior doors in your home can actually increase your air conditioner’s energy consumption. To explain why, we’ll have to consider what happens when your air conditioner is in a cooling cycle and what happens when your air conditioner is resting.
If you close the interior door to a room while your air conditioner is in a cooling cycle, the air that is pumped into that room will be trapped inside. This will increase the pressure in the room, which will force conditioned air out of any small cracks or openings around the room’s windows, walls, ceiling and floor. Often times, this pushes conditioned air outside or into unconditioned spaces, which is a waste of energy. You can attempt to solve this problem by closing the supply vents in the room, but doing so comes with its own set of problems.
If you close the interior door to a room while your air conditioner is not in a cooling cycle, the room will be starved of air because it will be closed off from the rest of your home’s airflow. This creates a negative pressure situation in the room during which air will get sucked in through the same cracks and openings that it is forced out of while your system is running (above). This can allow unconditioned air to get into the room, which will increase its temperature and can worsen its air quality. In addition, conditioned air from surrounding spaces can get sucked into the room that you closed off.
Should you keep interior doors open or closed while your air conditioner is running?
In general, it’s best to keep your interior doors open as often as possible in order to allow air to flow freely from room to room. This will avoid pressure problems in your home and will make it easier for your air conditioner to cool your home evenly and with less energy. If you close your bedroom door for privacy when you go to sleep at night, consider keeping it open a crack and leaving it open throughout the day.
If you have any questions about whether to keep your interior doors open or closed while your air conditioner is running, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Hydes, your Coachella Valley air conditioning contractor.