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Why Do I Need Return Air Vents In Every Room?

Return Air Vents
Reading Time: 3 minutes

While your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is working hard to keep your home or business cool and humidity free, there is a whole system of ducts and pipes behind the walls keeping everything running smoothly. The way your HVAC cycles air between the inside of your home and the cooling unit is through the air ducts, which require entry points in each room to allow quick and efficient access to the central cooling system.

While older air-conditioning systems typically only had one or two strategically placed air vents, cooling system design has changed, placing importance on efficiency. Today, it is recommended to have one or multiple air vents in each room of your home or business to optimize air flow and reduce the cost of energy spent on cooling your home or office.

So, what are air vents and how do they help your HVAC system run better?

Your HVAC Needs Supply and Return Air Vents

Your HVAC is a closed system of air that cycles conditioned and non-conditioned air though your home based on the air conditioning system design. The ducts are like the veins of your home which supply air from the HVAC system to the rooms in your home, and then return the unconditioned air back to the heart of the system to be cooled again.

Air vents are access points to the ducts running through your home which allow the free flow of air to and from your HVAC system. Supply vents blow conditioned air from the HVAC into the rooms, and return air vents pull the air out of the rooms and back into the cooling system.

Multiple Vents Keep the Balance

Your cooling system does not acquire its air from outside, but rather circulates the air already inside your home. For this reason, to reduce the stress on the system and increase the rate of airflow, having multiple entry points for air to return to the HVAC is the most efficient way to cool a home or business.

The air that the return air vents pull in needs to be equal to the air blown out of the system to keep an equilibrium of effort on the HVAC system. Without this balance, the HVAC will endure unnecessary stress that could cause wear at a faster rate.

The Important Role of Return Air Vents

  • Under Pressure

    Not having enough return air vents is an inefficient way to circulate air through your home. Similarly, if you have vents in every room, ensure to keep them all open. Closing vents in unused rooms increases pressure in the air ducts and puts the whole system under strain. Strained ducts can cause leaks or break duct seams within the walls, releasing conditioned air into parts of your home that do not need air.

  • Stay Humidity Free

    Through a series of ducts and filters, the air in your home is conditioned and filtered, creating a comfortable climate indoors. When you close off vents or have rooms that do not benefit from having constant airflow, humidity is not reduced, by having humid pockets in your home you may have problems with your health, and damage to your furniture. Ensure all return air vents are free of obstruction to create the best environment for the health of your family and the protection of your belongings.

  • Save Energy and Money

    Your HVAC system measures air movement in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and relies on a constant input and output ratio from the supply vents into the return vents. Whether you keep all of the vents open or closed, the HVAC will use the same amount of energy to run. By keeping all of your return air vents open, not obstructing air flow, and having multiple entry points for air to circulate your home, you keep this CFM ratio stable and optimize the running cost of your HVAC system.

Contact Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric today if you would like more information about how the air-conditioning system is designed in your home, or if you would like to get more information on how to make your HVAC work more efficiently. Our technicians are licensed and insured and now serving Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Duval Counties.


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