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Does shutting down registers save gas bill?

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  • Feb 19th, 2010 3:32 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2008
2908 posts
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Toronto

Does shutting down registers save gas bill?

My Enbridge gas bills are through the roof and I need to do something about it.

I am thinking about shutting down registers for the 2 unused bedrooms, and whole unfinished basement. Will it save my gas bill? will it cause any issues?

I noticed in the basement register there is no lid inside the duct that I can use to shut it down. Is there any alternative way to stop hot air flow out of that register?
19 replies
Member
Nov 15, 2003
461 posts
Mississauga
Shutting down registers will simply redirect the airflow to other areas of the house. Those areas would become warmer, then you could set the thermostat lower to effectively reduce your gas consumption.

There should be a baffle just inside the duct that will seal off the register better than simply closing the register. Take the register out and reach inside the duct, you should feel the baffle about 2 feet in. Just rotate it to close it.
Deal Guru
Dec 11, 2008
11050 posts
2113 upvotes
Actually I have a Q too. Right now I only have ONE register open for the main floor and the rest are open on the top floor. My thermostat is on the main floor. If the main floor is colder due to close registers, doesn't this mean that my furnace will work harder to maintain the temperature I set because the main floor is colder?

Meaning if I set the thermostat at 20C, the main floor will be set at 20C but the top floor may be warmer because most of the air goes up there. :confused:
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Feb 15, 2005
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YEG
Opening and (partially) closing the registers is called balancing. My HVAC guy told me to open and close the registers to my like or he can do it for $85/hour. It's a personal preference where you want to direct the heat and can help distribute the heat/cooling according to where you live/spend the most time.

Balancing can take weeks if you're really picky about the temperature.
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Oct 16, 2008
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Vaughan
bsobaid wrote: My Enbridge gas bills are through the roof and I need to do something about it.

I am thinking about shutting down registers for the 2 unused bedrooms, and whole unfinished basement. Will it save my gas bill? will it cause any issues?

I noticed in the basement register there is no lid inside the duct that I can use to shut it down. Is there any alternative way to stop hot air flow out of that register?
Yes, closing the registers in the unused rooms and basement will save some money. The closed registers will re-direct warm air into use room. You can set your thermostat low in the day time and night time. Do you have programmable thermostat? I suggest you to invest into one. You can program it to lower temp. when nobody is at home. You can do same when everyone is sleeping. Play around to find out the best combination.
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Oct 16, 2008
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Vaughan
rf134a wrote: Opening and (partially) closing the registers is called balancing. My HVAC guy told me to open and close the registers to my like or he can do it for $85/hour. It's a personal preference where you want to direct the heat and can help distribute the heat/cooling according to where you live/spend the most time.

Balancing can take weeks if you're really picky about the temperature.
People can do this on their own to find the best combination. It may take days to get it right. To pay for someone $85/hr is not required.
Deal Addict
Mar 12, 2009
1833 posts
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Ottawa
Yes, it will save you money.

My son is only at my place on the weekends, so during the week, I close the register in his room and close the door. Same thing with the space bedroom.

That's two extra rooms that dont need to be heated all the time so why bother? Close 'em up and force the air someplace else.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2008
2908 posts
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Toronto
Yes, I shut down the registers in the two unused rooms and close their doors.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2008
2908 posts
233 upvotes
Toronto
Shiifty wrote: Shutting down registers will simply redirect the airflow to other areas of the house. Those areas would become warmer, then you could set the thermostat lower to effectively reduce your gas consumption.

There should be a baffle just inside the duct that will seal off the register better than simply closing the register. Take the register out and reach inside the duct, you should feel the baffle about 2 feet in. Just rotate it to close it.
I can see this baffle in other registers in my house except the one in the basement. I really dont know how to shut the basement one down because the basement register does'nt have those flippers either that can be shutdown. So no baffle and no shut-able registers in the basement. What to do ? what to do?
Did the builder intentionally make it this way so it cant be shut for some reason? The basement register with no flaps or baffle is right by the furnace.
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Jun 2, 2009
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bsobaid wrote: I can see this baffle in other registers in my house except the one in the basement. I really dont know how to shut the basement one down because the basement register does'nt have those flippers either that can be shutdown. So no baffle and no shut-able registers in the basement. What to do ? what to do?
Did the builder intentionally make it this way so it cant be shut for some reason? The basement register with no flaps or baffle is right by the furnace.
Are you sure it's a register and not an intake?

If it is actually a register, you can just tape it up if you want the air flow blocked.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 18, 2004
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Markham
Shiifty wrote: Shutting down registers will simply redirect the airflow to other areas of the house. Those areas would become warmer, then you could set the thermostat lower to effectively reduce your gas consumption.
Irrelevant to having registers closed. You set the temperature at what you want it to be. Closing off registers would just mean other rooms (most importantly the room with the thermostat) would heat up quicker and the furnace would turn off sooner.
speedyforme wrote: Actually I have a Q too. Right now I only have ONE register open for the main floor and the rest are open on the top floor. My thermostat is on the main floor. If the main floor is colder due to close registers, doesn't this mean that my furnace will work harder to maintain the temperature I set because the main floor is colder?

Meaning if I set the thermostat at 20C, the main floor will be set at 20C but the top floor may be warmer because most of the air goes up there. :confused:
Measure your rooms with a thermometer. This is the only way to tell. Then adjust your registers to open or close depending on what you want the temps in each room to be.

For example, our thermostat is in a room that is near the kitchen and is quite warm. The register in that room is closed, and so are the ones in the kitchen. With the set up like this, all rooms on all floors are roughly the same temperature. If I were to open these registers, this room would get to the set temperature, but the upstairs rooms will be 2-3C below that.
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Deal Fanatic
Feb 17, 2007
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Mort Réal
Hmmmm, indirect answer (or retorical question?):
Isn't anyone concerned with humidity buildup/mildew growing in an area that would be left unheated for a prolonged period. I saw some comments about shutting off heat and keeping that door closed. I'd personally be concerned.

Unless you have an alternate way to redistribute the air but that would make closing the register/doors useless sine air would be redirected anyway.

Just a thought.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2008
2908 posts
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Toronto
WHO wrote: Hmmmm, indirect answer (or retorical question?):
Isn't anyone concerned with humidity buildup/mildew growing in an area that would be left unheated for a prolonged period. I saw some comments about shutting off heat and keeping that door closed. I'd personally be concerned.

Unless you have an alternate way to redistribute the air but that would make closing the register/doors useless sine air would be redirected anyway.

Just a thought.
hmm..so whats that gonna do if I shut all registers down in the unfinished basement??
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6660 posts
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bsobaid wrote: Yes, I shut down the registers in the two unused rooms and close their doors.
I did that one winter in an older house I previously owned. The ceiling drywall was severely damaged along the outside wall from dampness.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 17, 2007
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Mort Réal
bsobaid wrote: hmm..so whats that gonna do if I shut all registers down in the unfinished basement??
I don't know about unfinished basement. In my book, it can't be good for any material, even if it's just wood beams, to sustain a high humidity environment. What do you mean by unfinished? Do you still use it for, say, storage/washer/dryer/etc?

See the example above...
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2008
2908 posts
233 upvotes
Toronto
WHO wrote: I don't know about unfinished basement. In my book, it can't be good for any material, even if it's just wood beams, to sustain a high humidity environment. What do you mean by unfinished? Do you still use it for, say, storage/washer/dryer/etc?

See the example above...
Yes I use it for storage washer dryer.
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2005
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bsobaid wrote: hmm..so whats that gonna do if I shut all registers down in the unfinished basement??
I closed all the registers in my basement. Left the returns open. The humidity in the basement is fine and it's a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 17, 2007
6074 posts
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Mort Réal
bsobaid wrote: Yes I use it for storage washer dryer.
So you have to keep that in mind. Perhaps keep a hygrometer in the basement to make sure the humudity level is controlled properly.
You have to keep the relation between relative humidity and temperature appropriate.
Banned
Jan 19, 2007
60 posts
2 upvotes
my basement (unfinished and unused) is always very very warm - much warmer than anywhere in the house

I duct-taped the registers shut, but the air pipes are still hot enough to keep the basement very warm

is this normal? what should I do?
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2007
626 posts
193 upvotes
Markham
ik999 wrote: my basement (unfinished and unused) is always very very warm - much warmer than anywhere in the house

I duct-taped the registers shut, but the air pipes are still hot enough to keep the basement very warm

is this normal? what should I do?
Foil tape all the joints in the ducts or seal with silicone. Then wrap the duct with insulation.

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