What are Supply and Return Vents?
Supply and return vents are two components within a heating and cooling system that redirects air either indoors or outdoors. The supply vent, as its name suggests, is what delivers the warm or cooled air into the room, where a fan circulates the air out of the supply vents.
The return vent, on the other hand, is what takes the stale air out of the room, redirecting it outside through the HVAC system. When both the supply vents and the return vents are functioning properly, they should be able to regulate the temperature, indoor air quality, and pressure inside the space for comfort.
The Importance of Supply and Return Vents
The supply and return vents are each important in their own right as every heating or cooling system needs these air vents to supply air to the room, and remove air from the room. The two types of air vents work together in a heating and cooling system as they direct conditioned air into the room while drawing out the stale air.
Some supply vents have air filters that prevent dust from the air ducts from entering the room. This improves the indoor air quality, but will need to be changed or washed every few weeks to prevent blockages.
Overall, the supply and return vents are essential in regulating air flow in the space. They prevent stale air from staying stagnant in the room, while replacing it with fresh air. These HVAC vents keep the space comfortable, and are necessary in any heating or cooling system.
Diagnosing Faulty Supply Vents and Return Vents
Faulty or malfunctioning vents are often caused by dirt and dust accumulation on the panels of the vents, which can limit the air flowing through the vents. It is important to maintain a cleaning schedule for the HVAC system, which includes the air vents as debris and dust tend to block supply and return vents.
#1 Blocked Vents
With blocked HVAC vents, you may notice there is no air flowing out the supply vent at all. This is a common occurrence with supply vents that have small openings as a layer of dust can easily block the duct system. If the supply vent has an air filter, it may mean that the air filter is already covered in grime, and is due for a cleaning.
When the return air vents are blocked, air may stay stagnant in the room, which can change the pressure, temperature, and comfort of the surrounding air indoors. Blocked return vents are typically easier to identify as there may be a large piece of furniture, dust bunnies, or debris that is visibly blocking the vent.
#2 Dirty Vents
Dirty HVAC vents, even ones that are unblocked, can pose a health risk to immunocompromised individuals as the dust tends to blow out of the heating and cooling system, and scatters around the surrounding air. If you feel air blowing out of the supply vents, but the airflow feels weak or inadequate, then there may be a blockage starting in the vents.
As the supply vents blow conditioned air into the room, they may also carry dust, microorganisms, and fungal spores, which can be harmful to your health. If you have had a rodent or pest problem, dirty vents can carry pathogens from droppings into the room as well via the conditioned air.
Air Conditioner Vents Maintenance
The best maintenance for your air conditioning vents is to clean them regularly. You can clean the face panels of the vents on your own using a soft, damp cloth, but a professional deep-cleaning is the way to go when maintaining your entire HVAC system.
Cleaning the vents and the air ducts is key to maintaining a fully-functioning HVAC system. Having your air conditioner professionally cleaned once every 4 to 6 months will help prevent dust accumulation, and will improve the overall indoor air quality.
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Give us a call today, or check out our full list of services to improve your HVAC system.