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Should Air Vents be High or Low?


Air vent placement isn’t something homeowners think about unless there’s an issue or they’re building or remodeling. But where the vents are located affects how well your home heats and cools.

Let’s discuss the types of air vents in your home, pros and cons of their placement location, and whether it does matter in the scheme of things.

Air Supply Register and Return Grill Basics

Every HVAC system relies on air vents to deliver conditioned air to a home effectively and with relative ease.

How do supply and return vents work?

The supply vents send or deliver conditioned air from the HVAC unit into the home through a network of ducts. You’ll know it’s a supply air vent if you hold your hand in front of it and feel air blowing out.

Return air vents pull the used or flat air from the home and return it to the HVAC system to be reconditioned. Most of these vents are larger than a supply vent and have a grill installed over the opening. Since returns pull air in, you may notice dust, hair, and fur collect on the grill over time. Make sure to keep it clean so the air flow isn’t impeded.

Each room should have a supply and return vent

Because the supply and return vents work together to circulate the air, every room should have at least one supply and one return. While some homebuilders opt to not install a return and instead leave a gap at the bottom of the door, we recommend having a return installed.

Where the vents are located in each room goes into the larger discussion topic, but for optimal comfort, supplies should be on outer walls and under windows. A return should be across the room on an interior wall. If the vents are too close to one another, the conditioned air is pulled into the return before it properly circulates and warms or cools the room.

For the best air circulation in a room, keep this in mind:

What’s the Difference Between Registers and Grills?

An air register is the cover to a supply vent and has moveable flaps or a damper to control the amount of airflow and direction. A grill, as mentioned, usually covers the return vent and has stationary slats which can collect things floating in the air.

Floor Vent Pros

Since heat naturally rises, homes that prioritize heating often use floor vents. Other benefits include:

Floor Vent Cons

On the other hand, floor vents have drawbacks, such as:

Ceiling Vent Pros

Homes in warmer climates, such as southern parts of the United States, usually prioritize cooling. Other benefits of ceiling vents include:

Ceiling Vent Cons

Drawbacks to ceiling vents include:

It all depends on your personal needs

Ultimately, where the air vents are located in your home comes down to your personal needs and preferences. Keeping the vents near the center of a room does help the HVAC system efficiently and effectively deliver conditioned air. But whether they’re on the floor or the ceiling is up to you. You can improve the indoor air flow by replacing the air filter every two to three months, and scheduling regular HVAC tune-ups.

There’s no perfect place for air vent placement other than where they provide you with the most warm or cool air in your home. Call Proskill today to schedule an HVAC tune-up appointment.


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