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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : features January 24, 2015

8/23/2013 6:01:00 AM
Ask the contractor: Closing heating/air registers will strain your HVAC system
Sandy Griffis
Yavapai County Contractors Association

Q: I noticed the Yavapai County Contractors Association website states that blocking registers are a bad idea. Is it OK to block the basement registers in the summer when the air conditioning is always on? I have about 10 registers and was thinking of closing up to eight of them in order to keep the air up in the main level of the home.-Melissa, Prescott

A: If you have only one HVAC system and you have multiple stories, you are best served by having a zoned system. Not only will each zone call for heating or cooling as needed, but it will offer better comfort and reduce extended run times. The zone controller opens a damper that feeds conditioned air into the zone that is "calling" for heating or cooling.

You have a system that is not zoned, so the basement ends up being too cold. However, closing off vents will create back pressure because you have restricted the air flow. Your existing supply duct and register can only flow so many cubic feet per minute, and so this unbalancing will cause the blower to stress and put a strain on the system.

The best solution would be to add zoning dampers and controls. However, to do this, you would need to have a multi-speed or variable speed blower for the system to work properly. If you have an older single-speed blower type furnace, the zoning will not be as efficient. You might need to upgrade your HVAC system to accommodate the desired airflow solution you are looking for.

Remember, closing off ducts will harm your system, so it is important to have a certified HVAC professional look at your situation and offer solutions that best serve the needs of the home and family.


Save the date for the upcoming first-ever fall Yavapai County Home, Health and Lifestyles Expo at Tim's Toyota Center Sept. 14 and 15. This two-day show will feature exhibitors and vendors from virtually every aspect of quality lifestyle living. Patterned after the successful YCCA Home and Garden Show, this event includes contractors and home improvement professionals as well as representatives from industries such as health and fitness, education, travel and recreation, nonprofit organizations, service clubs and more.

A special participant is Scottsdale Healthcare's Heart and Vascular van, which will provide ultrasound screenings by appointment. The van will be at the show Sunday only, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To reserve your screening time, call 1-855-922-8378. Six combined tests are valued at more than $2,300; at this event, you can receive all screenings for $179.

Event hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Everyone is encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Yavapai Food Bank.

All attendees will have the opportunity to register for a drawing for one of three $500 gift certificates to be used with any of the show's vendors. Sponsors of these $500 gift certificates are Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Daily Courier and YCCA

Yavapai County Contractors Association (YCCA) is a professional association representing licensed, bonded and insured contractors, suppliers, distributors and business entities. Call YCCA for information on hiring a contractor at 778-0040. Submit questions to or through

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013
Article comment by: To MELISSA In Prescott

Melissa - You should really try to get your question answered by a licensed contractor. Sandy Griffis, the author of "Ask The Contractor" is not a contractor. She does not hold any kind of license issued by the Registrar of Contractors.

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