Should Home Interior Doors Stay Open When The AC Is Running?

Posted on: Jul 02, 2019

Another hot Oklahoma summer has arrived, and the air conditioning is going full blast and barely keeping up. To save some money, you might be wondering if you should keep rooms closed up when they aren’t in use. Is that a good idea or should your home’s interior doors stay open when the air conditioner is running? 

Simply put, keeping doors shut to save money is a bad idea. It can drive up your energy bills while increasing the need for costly repairs. It can also cause indoor air quality problems. 

Why Is Shutting Doors a Problem? 

Your air conditioner sends cool air out to the many vents throughout your home. At the same time, it takes air in through an air return, usually located at one or two central points. The amount of warm air it takes roughly equals the amount of cooled air it can send back out. 

When you shut the door to a room, you are doing two things:

The pressurized air inside the room has no place to go. However, as the pressure builds, the air will find a way to escape, usually through the cracks and crannies around doors and windows. So, you are paying money to send cooled air to the hot outdoors. 

At the same time, the AC is trying to draw in more air through the return duct. With the air from the closed rooms unavailable, the suction will eventually start to draw air in from outside your home. So, you are paying money to pull hot air in from outside. 

The results?

  • The humidity inside your home climbs due to the outside air getting in.
  • The air quality in the closed-off rooms degrades quickly because the pollutants have nowhere to go.
  • Your energy bill goes up instead of down.
  • Your AC system is working overtime, causing unneeded wear and tear, which leads to higher repair costs. 

So, the next time you want to close off interior doors to a room to save on your cooling bills, don’t do it.

Better Ways to Save Money on Your Cooling Bills

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save money cooling your home this summer. And most of them cost very little or nothing at all. Here are a few ways to get started.

  1. Shut the curtains and shades when the sun is shining in. This helps reduce the amount of radiant heat transferred inside. 
  2. Turn on the fans. Fans help circulate the cooled air more efficiently, making it easier to turn the thermostat up a few degrees. 
  3. Seal cracks around trim and use weatherstripping around door and window openings. Keeping the hot air out and the cool air in will lower your energy bills.
  4. If your air conditioner sits in the hot sun, give it some shade. Build a shade structure over the outside unit to keep it cooler and running more efficiently. 
  5. Have the AC serviced regularly. A well-maintained system will run more efficiently and have fewer repair needs. 

Routine maintenance and smart thinking will reduce your cooling bills this summer. If you need air conditioner repair or maintenance, contact Airco Service in Oklahoma today.