Have you ever looked around your home at the registers? Often, they are placed in different locations, some towards the floor, others near the ceiling. What purpose do each of these serve?
Your home has two different types of vents: supply registers and return registers. Every time your HVAC unit turns on, it pushes air through the supply register and out into your rooms. Yet it can’t keep pushing air into your home. It’s sealed - doors and windows closed - which means there’s only so much room for the conditioned air being fed in. That’s where the return registers some into play. The return registers draw air back into the unit, where it can be reheated or recooled and repeat the process.
This process helps keep the air fresh by circulating outdoor air in too. And because the air continually circulates, it also cleans the air, depositing particles and pollutants in the air filter system to ensure your home’s air is clean.
This all helps your home run more efficiently … IF your return registers are doing a proper job.
Most central HVAC systems operate best if there is both a supply and return registers in every room. However, many systems aren’t designed that way. Instead, you’ll find a main return register in a central location - a main hallway, or a great room.
In this case, the home will be inefficient. The only way to fix it is to have an HVAC professional extend the return register placement to other rooms in your home.
It’s also a good idea to have return registers placed high on the wall. Heat rises. That means as your furnace operates, supply registers will add heated air in your living spaces, which rises towards the ceiling. Higher return registers will ensure proper circulation.
How do you tell the difference between the two types of registers? It’s actually quite easy.
Supply registers are usually smaller. If you look throughout your home, your supply registers have fins and grills to help control the flow of air into each room. A return register is built around a filter system.
You can also hold paper up to each; it will blow out with a supply register, suck inward towards the grill of a return register.
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