Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Understanding the Different HVAC Vents in Your Home

Understanding the Different HVAC Vents in Your HomeThe HVAC vents in your home distribute both cool summer comfort and winter warmth to all parts of your home. While you may think “A vent is a vent,” not all HVAC vents look alike nor have the same function.

A central HVAC system incorporates two distinct vent types:

Supply vents deliver cool or warm air from the A/C or furnace into each room. A supply vent is typically located high on a wall near the ceiling. Most have louvers that can be manually adjusted to direct the flow of air.

Return vents take air out of the room and convey it back to the A/C or furnace. Return vents are somewhat larger than supply vents and do not include adjustable louvers. They are normally located in a wall near the floor or sometimes installed in the floor.

Staying In Balance

Air volume through HVAC vents is carefully balanced. Supply vents push air into the room under positive pressure while return vents are under slightly negative pressure to draw air out of the room. Anything that disrupts air balance can also affect temperature control, system energy efficiency and even indoor air quality. Here are some potential issues to be aware of:

Closed or blocked vents. All vents in every room should be open at all times. Closing one vent can upset air balance throughout the house. Make sure all supply vents are fully open and that nothing is obstructing air flow into returns such as furniture, drapes or other objects.

Dirt or dust build-up. Check vent grilles for accumulation of dust or dirt that can impede airflow. Vacuum grilles regularly and periodically use a flashlight to look inside the vent opening. If needed, the vent grille can be removed and the inside of the duct vacuumed, as well.

Dirty air filter. A dirty or clogged system air filter can reduce vent airflow in supply and returns. For best performance and efficiency, change the air filter monthly.

Ask the professionals at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company for more information about maintaining HVAC vents in your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.