Every home has them, and in most cases, they are something we ignore. Vent covers are usually an ugly grate of metal on your floor, near your baseboards, or located somewhere near the ceiling. Yet they are an essential component of your ventilation system. How you use them can make a major difference in how comfortable your home is and how much you spend each month on your utility bill.
The vent cover is designed to redirect the air flow from the ventilation system to where it’s needed most. They are installed according to room design, with the number of vents determined by the size of the room. Vents have various settings, allowing air flow to be controlled from off to on position, along with full air flow, zero air flow, and everything in between.
While vents control the air flow, how the vents appear in your home can be changed, depending on the vent cover you choose to have in place. There are three primary types of air covers available today.
These vent covers are probably what you currently have in place. They are installed in most new construction, and in general what is left in place long after residents move in. The are simple metal grates that sit on top of ductwork designed to redirect air away from the vent and around the room. They are often painted to match the floor or walls.
Basic vent covers offer little efficiency, and do not maintain a tight seal. Air often escapes in places not necessarily needed, resulting in temperature modification around the room. Poor seals also mean they are usually only place on floors or ceilings, not both. Depending on placement, this will make your HVAC equipment less effective in one season – summer if vents are on the floor as cold air sinks, winter if vents are on the floor as hot air rises.
Magnet vent covers have the advantage of being airtight. They are usually fitted over basic vent covers and block out leaks and airflow that basic vents allow. Because they are inexpensive and easy to install, it’s an easy way to increase efficiency and save money on your utility bill too. They can be purchased in a variety of colors, and can be painted to match your décor.
Depending on what room you want to upgrade, there are a variety of grate options available to you. From big box stores to online home décor, a simple search can help you find a variety of grates and grill patterns to help blend in more with your surroundings. Some places even offer custom grate cover design. It can be a nice touch to help your ventilation system blend in with your surroundings, while keeping you comfortable in the process.