Will Decorative Air Grilles Affect HVAC Performance?

After updating your living areas with a simple paint job or refinished flooring, you might notice that your old air grilles or vents covers are looking out of place. Fortunately, you can spruce up your interior with decorative grilles that you can buy online. However, would they affect how your heating and air conditioning systems work? Read on as we discuss the matter further.

Grilles Vs. Registers

First, we have to establish the differences between grilles and registers. They’re often used interchangeably, but they mean two different things. On the one hand, air grilles cover the openings of your home’s ductwork that are located on the floor, wall, or ceiling. On the other hand, registers are the same as air grilles but have dampers you can adjust manually to control airflow.

How Important Are Air Grilles?

The supply and return vents that facilitate airflow from your heating and air conditioning unit to every room in your home shouldn’t be left exposed like a hole on your wall, floor, or ceiling. They must be fitted with air grilles to protect the ductwork from dirt, debris, and pests. These are also essential for directing proper airflow to rooms and ensuring your home reaches the desired comfort levels as indicated on your thermostat.

About Decorative Air Grilles

Decorative air vent covers come in different sizes and styles to help fit in with your home’s décor. If you intend to install them to replace your old standard grilles, be sure they’re sized properly. It takes the “free area” into account, which refers to the open area of the air grille. Ideally, it should have at least 75% free area. For example, an air grille that measures 12 inches by 4 inches that covers a duct with the same dimensions would have a total of 48 square inches. Its actual free area, however, is 75% of it, or 36 inches.

McMaster Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is the leading HVAC contractor for your heating repair and cooling maintenance needs. Call us today at (949) 481-7995 or fill out our contact form to request an estimate. We serve homeowners in Irvine and all of Orange County, CA.