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Should Basement Vents Be Open or Closed in the Summer?

basement window with vent

The warm summer months are a pleasant change from the cold weather we experience during fall and winter.

That doesn’t mean you won’t be running your air conditioning if the weather gets too hot. 

If you see your energy bills going up with the heat, you might look for ways to save money.

One simple method to save on energy costs is to close the vents in your basement, which affects the temperature in parts of your home. However, keeping these vents closed for too long might harm your air ducts and HVAC system.

So, when is it okay to close your basement vents, and what should you do if this causes any unintended damage?

Benefits of Closing Basement Vents in the Summer

If you’re looking for a way to lower your energy bill this summer, closing your vents may help. When you close your vents, you can limit the flow of air through your home and avoid rooms you don’t visit frequently. 

That said, don’t expect the air that doesn’t go to your basement to travel up through the rest of your home. Forced air homes can let air linger in air ducts if a room’s vents are closed off.

So, you’ll want to rotate the vents that you have closed on a consistent basis to keep obstructions from forming in your ducts. 

The Side Effects of Closing Your Basement Vents in the Summer

All that said, there are some downsides to closing your basement vents. These can include:  

  • Backed-up air pressure – As mentioned, the air in your home isn’t going to travel as readily as you’d like it to with your vents closed. You need to vary the vents you use to prevent obstacles from forming in your ducts. 
  • Leaks – If the pressure from restricted air grows to be too much, your ducts may spring a leak. These leaks can be a pain to deal with, as they’re difficult to find and can thoroughly disrupt the comfort of a temperature-controlled home. 
  • Higher bills – With a leak comes higher bills, as your HVAC system will have to work even harder to compensate for the sudden lack of air pressure in certain parts of your home. 
  • Frozen AC coils – If you have the AC in your home running for most of the day, the air released by a leak can circulate past working coils and cause them to freeze, especially if there’s a significant amount of condensation in the air. 
Vent in the floor.

What to do About Air Vent Leaks?

As mentioned, air vent leaks are a common occurrence. These leaks raise your electric bills and make it more difficult to control the temperature inside your home. They can also spread mold and dust particles into every room in your home. 

If you notice that your home has become more difficult to temperature control or that your air quality seems to worsen, you’ll want to look over your vents and determine where the troubling leak is.

This can be more difficult to do, but you can take the following steps to give an HVAC expert a better idea of where to start their search: 

  1. Check your vent system for signs of damage you can spot from the outside. 
  2. Turn on your HVAC system and follow the air pressure until it gives out. 

It’s difficult to fix a vent on your own once it’s burst. That said, if you’re looking for a quick fix, try duct tape to cover smaller leaks before calling a professional.

The Verdict: Should I Close My Basement Vents in the Summer? 

Yes, you can close your basement vents in the summer, but only for short periods, not for weeks at a time.

Try to change which vents are closed every couple of days. If a vent has been closed for more than two days, open it to let air move around your home.

If you suspect a leak in your vent, don’t wait for higher energy costs to confirm it. Contact local professionals to help.

Foundation Solutions Beyond Vent Management

FRS inspector ready to evaluate your home.

While Foundation Recovery Systems may not specialize in your basement’s HVAC vents, if you’re experiencing problems like mold, musty odors, or pests—issues that might lead you to adjust your vents—then it could be a sign of deeper foundation concerns.

Foundation repair may be necessary. FRS provides free inspections and long-term solutions to address these underlying issues, ensuring a healthier, more stable basement environment.

Don’t let these problems escalate; reach out to Foundation Recovery Systems for expert advice and support.

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.

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