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The Top Things to Know about Vent Covers and Return Grills in HVAC Systems

A properly functioning HVAC system is essential to a comfortable home. Vent covers are minor yet important items when the context is about the HVAC system. While most of your HVAC system is inconspicuous, the vents allow proper air circulation across your home.

They are an integral part of the HVAC system, which cools and heats your home. Most of the time, we don’t provide much importance to these areas unless they spoil our home’s décor. Apart from influencing your home’s décor, they can also affect the overall health of your family.

Like the rest of your HVAC system, the vents and ducts need to function correctly. With these things in mind, here are some essential things to know about return air vent covers.               

Overview of Vent Covers

A vent cover is an innocuous thing present in your wall, ceiling, etc. For untrained eyes, they may seem like a trivial aesthetic concern. However, vent covers are an essential component of your ventilation system.

Your selection of vent covers and their use can prove to be the most incredible difference in your HVAC system’s performance. The primary function of the vent cover is to redirect the airflow from the ventilation system to your house.

Hence, unoccupied rooms should have the vent covers closed while the reverse is true for occupied spaces. This simple practice can significantly reduce your monthly expenses. The return air vent covers are thus an integral component of your HVAC system.

In your home, you usually have two types of vents. They are supply vent and return duct. The return vent circulates the air back to your system to regulate the temperature. Here are some essential things to know about the vent covers.   

  • Cold Air Return Vents

Cold air return vents can either be centrally located or can be present in every room. For optimal cooling and heating, each room of your home should have cold air return vents. You can usually find them on the interior wall located higher up the ground.

  • Supply Register Vents

These vents allow the air from your HVAC system to enter the room and alter the temperature. These vents can usually be found on the outer walls or the floor. Supply and return vents are usually spaced separately to avoid recirculation of air.

Return air vent covers help in maintaining the proper airflow to a room. In a majority of cases, they can also eliminate impurities from the air. Modern-day vent covers are available in a wide variety of styles that blends with your room’s décor.

The Types of Return Grills you should be aware of

Here is the list of return grills commonly available for your HVAC system.

Basic Return Grills

These are types of return grills you will come across in a majority of new apartments and town houses. They comprise simple metal grates that redirect air away and circulates it in the room. They are usually painted to match the walls and floors of your room.

Basic return grills, while affordable, fail to maintain a tight seal. In other words, air often escapes from unnecessary places. Always remember that basic air grills are usually installed on either the ceiling or the floor.

Decorative Air Return

As the name suggests, these grills are primarily for enhancing the décor of your room. Nowadays, you would come across a wide variety of decorative return grills. If you are fortunate, you would even find customized return grills. Note that customized return grills are easy to install and affordable.

Hence, if you want your room décor to stand out, decorative return grills are the best option.   

Magnetic Return Grills

These return grills have the reputation of being airtight and modular. Note that you should install them over regular vents. If you find that your HVAC system is performing poorly, magnetic grills can help. They are simple grills that seal over the top of vents.

If you have a small home, you can easily install these grills. What’s more impressive is that you can paint magnetic air return grills. So change the look of your room with magnetic grills.

Caring for Return Grills

With air circulating in and out of the vent and return grill, it accumulates dust and grime over time. Hence, just like the HVAC system, you have to clean the return grills periodically. Usually, the maintenance of return grills should be done once a year.

But there are exceptions too. If a particular room in your house experiences high traffic, you should clean return grills every two months. Keeping return grills cleaned would improve the overall quality of air circulation.

Return grills are usually located in various parts of your house. Let’s take a glance at how to maintain return grills.

Floor Return Grills

The floor is undoubtedly one of the most used areas in your home. People walking across the floor can accumulate dust and dirt in the air return grills. If the grill comprises a metal, cleaning it is easy. Unscrew it and wash it in your dishwasher to eliminate dirt and dust.

Return Grills located on the Baseboard

In a majority of residential houses, return grills are located on the baseboard. The best way to clean these grills is by vacuuming. You can also sweep the area to remove other dust particles. Always seek professional advice if you are unable to clean the return grills.

Keeping your HVAC systems running at peak should be the top priority. Both vent covers and return grills are integral components of your home’s HVAC system. Periodic maintenance and replacement of both these components would keep your HVAC system in optimal condition.

When your HVAC system runs efficiently, you save a great deal of energy. Properly installed vent covers and return grills would help your family to breathe fresh air. Opt for those vent covers and return grills that come with antimicrobial features.

The inclusion of improved dust guards along with streamlined designs are the main features of vent covers and return grills available nowadays.          

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