Most of us know where the heat registers are in every room in our house and take care not to block them when we arrange the furniture. That’s because we have figured out that if we cover the register the furnace doesn’t work as efficiently and the room is not comfortable. It is just as important to make certain we do not block the air-return vents in our house as the furnace needs adequate air flow to do the job of maintaining a comfortable temperature in the home. Blocking an air vent with a sofa or entertainment center can reduce the air flow by 30 percent or more. This can have a significant impact on the way your system is operating.
When warm air is pumped into the room through the heat register, the cool air must be forced out through the air return vent to be reheated by the furnace. The return vents must be able to handle the same cubic feet per minute or CFM as the output of the heated air. If the air return vent is blocked the CFM numbers for the register and the air return will be altered. Air return vents are located on inside walls. Often they are near the floor. Previously there was a return vent for each room, but now, larger vents are used and there may only be a couple of them in your home. These vents also attract a lot of dust and it is important to actually remove the cover and vacuum the grille and return register periodically to maintain proper airflow.
It’s a small item to be aware of in your home, but keeping air-return vents free from obstructions does make a difference. For more tips on energy efficiency and home comfort, download our free guide or give us a call at Home Comfort Experts with any questions.