Can You Cover A Return Vent In Your Home?

Air Return Vent

When it comes to furniture placement in the home, most people do what’s necessary to avoid blocking heat registers. Yet, the same diligence is rarely applied to air-return vents in the home. That’s because most homeowners do not understand how these return vents work or how important they are to the overall heating of a home.

What Is An Air Return Vent?

An air return vent is part of the HVAC system. Return vents are usually larger than heat registers and can generally be found close to the ground or in the floor in older homes or on a wall close to a ceiling in newer homes. You will not feel air being blown out of these vents, as they are used to force out the cool air in the room to be reheated by the furnace. This is one of the main reasons why some homeowners believe they can block air return vents with furniture. With no air coming from them, some homeowners believe blocking them will not do anything to the heating or cooling of the home.

What Happens When A Return Vent Is Blocked?

Very similar to blocking a heat register, blocking an air return vent restricts the air flow in your home. Blocking air return vents causes your system to work harder, as there is less air flow to move the air back to the furnace.  This continued strain on the HVAC system can lead to a decrease in performance and more HVAC repairs down the road.

How Do You Keep Your Air Vents Working Properly?

The first thing to do is to make sure they are not blocked. Once you know they are free to work efficiently, you should remove the cover and clean the grille to make sure there is no dust blocking the air flow. Air return vents attract a lot of dust and cleaning them regularly will ensure they continue to work efficiently.

It may be a small thing, but making sure your air return vents are free from obstructions will make a huge difference in the overall performance of your HVAC system.

Contact our heating professionals at Home Comfort Experts today to learn about our services. We serve Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan from our 12 locations. Give us a call at (574) 255-4600 to learn about our full complement of heating, cooling, and plumbing services.

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