When it comes to HVAC, your system is only as great as its weakest link. You might have the most efficient heater and air conditioner on the market. But you are throwing money away if you forget about maintaining the ventilation aspect of your system, primarily your return vent. Without proper air flow, both your heater and air conditioner cannot work at its best. So, it is important that your return vent gets some attention, too.
Performs An Important Job
The job of the return vent is to pull in air from your home to be warmed or cooled. After the air has been treated, the air is pushed out of the air vents located throughout your home. The quickest way to improve the efficiency of your return vents is to make sure that you regularly change the filter in your furnace. A dirty air filter will act as a bottleneck to the air that has been drawn in by your returns. When this happens, the efficiency of your HVAC system suffers.
Size and Placement Matters
Depending on the size and layout of your home, you might have one or more return vents installed. The rule of thumb is that you want to have as much air going to your return vent as possible. To make sure this is possible, the grilles on your vents should allow for maximum airflow. You will also want to make sure your vents are not blocked by furniture, rugs or drapes that will impede airflow. Some homes have two sets of return vents with some higher up on the wall for warm air and some placed lower on the wall for cool air. If you have this type of set up, you would close the lower vents during the summer and the higher vents during the winter.
Keep Your Vents Open
Don’t make the mistake of closing returns or air vents around your home by thinking that you are making your system more efficient. When you close vents around your home, you create pressure in your home’s duct work that can cause damage to your ducts and your system.
Include in Your Cleaning Routine
Because your return vent is continually sucking in air, it is also sucking up dust, pet hair, pollen and other contaminants in the air. This will cause a buildup in the form of dust in the grille covering the vent. Make it a habit to remove this dust regularly with your vacuum’s brush attachment. This will help keep your return vent cleaner, improve the efficiency of your heater and air conditioner and it will prevent contaminants from getting into your system.
Regular maintenance of your home’s HVAC system, including professional cleaning of your return vent is important to keeping your system running efficiently and for improving its lifespan. Get back on track with maintaining your system by scheduling service with Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning.