air vent


Supply Vents vs Return Vents: Identifying HVAC Vents in Your Home

Most homes in our area have central, forced-air HVAC systems that distribute conditioned air through a system of supply and return ducts. The ducts are installed inside the walls, ceilings or floors, so all that's visible are covered HVAC vents at the duct openings. Learning more about these vents and their purpose can help you keep your HVAC system working reliably and efficiently, so you enjoy a comfortable home.

The Basics of Supply and Return HVAC Vents

An HVAC system with proper air distribution has a ductwork design that incorporates a certain number of supply ducts for conditioned air delivery, as well as return ducts to bring stale air back through the air handler to be reconditioned. You can easily tell the purpose of a duct by which of these two types of vent covers it has:

Supply register.

Individual rooms in a home generally have one or more supply vents with louvered covers called registers. This kind of cover typically has a built-in damper that opens and closes with either a roller or lever control. Although the damper control lets you close the register completely, doing so can have serious consequences for your HVAC system, including airflow imbalances, a loss of energy efficiency and a greater likelihood of equipment breakdowns or failures. To avoid such problems, it's best to always keep your registers fully open, even in seldom-used rooms.

Return grille.

The HVAC ducts that return air through the system have stationary vent covers called grilles. Your duct system design dictates how many return vents you have, but typically, there are just one or two on each level of a home. Airflow restrictions on the return side can cause the same efficiency and performance problems as closed supply vents, so once you identify your return grilles, make sure they're never obstructed by long window treatments, furniture, area rugs or other household items.

If you're experiencing discomforting issues like uneven cooling or a decline in cool air output in your Broken Arrow home, contact us today at Air Assurance for an expert assessment of your HVAC vents and duct system.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Duct System, Featured, Service & Maintenance

Get the Most From Your System by Aiming and Redirecting Vents

Get the Most From Your System by Aiming and Redirecting Vents | Air Assurance

While the ample rainfall and rolling hills of the Broken Arrow area make the outdoors enjoyable nearly year round, getting your indoor temperatures just right still takes some planning. Redirecting vents lets you fine tune your heating and cooling system to maximize your comfort.

Managing Airflow in Your Rooms

Standard vent covers protect your ducts from debris and reduce drafts, but they don't direct airflow. If drafts are your main problem, installing a vent diffuser can help. Alternatively, install decorative Victorian-style vent covers with intricate scroll designs that diffuse airflow more effectively than standard grills.A vent deflector helps with redirecting vents more accurately. This device sits over the vent to guide air away from a wall, sofa, curtains or other surface, and focus it toward your living space.To get more air from a vent under an item of furniture, install a vent extender. Shaped like a low, flat tunnel, this channels air out from under the obstruction so more of it reaches your living space. If you're planning to build cabinetry over a vent, install a toe kick register into the toe kick recess at the bottom of the cabinet so air can escape.

Managing Airflow in Your Duct System

If there's a room or part of a room where you don't want airflow, you can close the vent entirely. This allows the air to flow back into the duct system and out to other rooms. Place an adjustable vent deflector over the vent and lower top of the deflector to limit or block airflow as required. If you have metal vent grilles, you can apply magnetic vent covers to block the air flow.Make sure no more than 10 percent of your vents are closed. Closing more than this creates excess air pressure in your ducts, which leads to wasteful air leakage and damages your system's components. For a more efficient way to direct airflow, ask your technician about installing a zoning system.

For tips on redirecting vents and other ways to stay more comfortable affordably, contact us at Air Assurance anywhere around Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kevin_Hsieh/Shutterstock”

Air Conditioning, Featured, Ventilation

If You Have Noisy Air Vents, Here's What to Do

If You Have Noisy Air Vents, Here's What to Do

It's normal to hear some noise coming from your air vents when the HVAC system is running. If the usual noise volume increases, or you start to hear flapping, rattling or high-pitched sounds from the supply vents, return grilles or ceiling diffusers, it's likely due to an increase in pressure caused by airflow restrictions somewhere in the HVAC system. Addressing the underlying cause of noisy air vents is vital, because operating the HVAC system without sufficient airflow makes the equipment work harder, so it consumes more energy and is more vulnerable to breakdowns and failures.

Solving Airflow Restrictions That Cause Noisy Vents

Airflow restrictions can occur for a number of reasons, and some are easy to diagnose and deal with on your own:

  • Dirty air filter— Replace a clogged filter right away, then check it monthly and change it when you see any debris accumulation.

  • Closed or obstructed registers— Make sure the supply and return registers are open and unobstructed by furniture, rugs or long window coverings so air can circulate freely through the system.

  • Closed duct dampers— If there are dampers on your ductwork and one gets stuck closed, it can impact proper airflow through the HVAC system. To prevent this, make sure they're all open.

  • Debris in the ductwork— Items can fall down through the registers such as nails, screws, small toys or even construction materials and sawdust. If you can't access the debris, you may need to have the ductwork cleaned professionally.

If you check for and address all of the above issues but you're still hearing noise from the vents when the blower fan is running, it's time to have an HVAC professional evaluate the system's performance. A knowledgeable pro will inspect the components and check the static pressure and CFM of air movement through the system. An expert diagnosis can determine whether there are issues like undersized ducts, inadequate return airflow, or damaged or obstructed ducts that need to be addressed.If you need help finding and fixing the cause of noisy air vents in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “altafulla/Shutterstock”