Vents and Air Registers

July 20, 2023

Your furnace and air conditioning work hard to provide heated and cooled air for your Columbus home. Once incoming air has been treated, it must be distributed to your home. If you have central heating and air conditioning, air is pushed through ducts to vents and air registers in each room. Understanding how your vents and registers work and how to maximize their efficiency will in turn improve the function of your heating and cooling systems, resulting in greater indoor comfort, lower utility bills, and a longer-lasting HVAC system.

Understanding Your Vents and Air Registers

Vents, registers, and returns play an important role in your HVAC system’s function. Air returns remove air from one or more areas of your home, circulating it through your HVAC system for heating or cooling. By contrast, air registers or vents distribute heated or cooled air into each room for comfort. Air registers can be solely functional, or may be decorative as well to complement the interior style of your home. Your air registers can be opened or closed to allow more or less airflow into a room. Magnetic vent covers can be used to block airflow in grilles that do not have a closing mechanism. Closing air registers in one or two lesser-used rooms of your home can help to conserve heating and cooling energy, but keep in mind that closing more than 20% of your home’s vents can have the opposite effect. You should also make sure that all vents and grilles are unobscured by furniture, draperies, and stored items, which can interfere with their function and even pose a fire hazard during the heating season.

Cleaning Your Vents and Air Registers

Cleaning your vents, registers, and returns should be part of your regular housecleaning regimen. Keeping these components of your HVAC system clean will allow for better airflow and reduce the amount of dust in your home. To clean your air registers and returns, use a damp cloth or the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the grille, including the areas between the slats. Every few months, unscrew all vents and air registers and use the hose attachment to clean just inside the duct for even more effective dust removal. Check that your air registers can be easily opened and closed; if the lever sticks, use an oil spray (such as WD-40) to loosen the mechanism so it operates properly. Air registers and grilles can be replaced as often as you like for improved function or aesthetics; if you have questions about choosing the right type of grille or air register for your needs, talk to your local HVAC expert.

Your Columbus HVAC technician can help you stay on top of all your heating and cooling needs, including heating and cooling inspections, air filter replacement, and duct inspection. Click through our website for additional information on the services we offer, or check out our blog for additional tips and the latest HVAC news.

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Last Updated: July 20, 2023