Air Conditioner Vents

Air conditioner vents refer to the panel with holes that close the air duct openings in every room. Thus, they are only present in the central AC systems and not in mini-split installations. These panels look simple and insignificant. But, there are several things you need to understand about them.

Types of Air Conditioner Vents

Two types of air vents work simultaneously yet have opposing roles. However, both are equally important in the process of air conditioning.

Supply Vents

Supply vents are attached to the supply ducts where the conditioned air flows from the central HVAC unit to the rooms. If you put paper over the supply vents, you will see it gets blown away. You can also feel the airflow with your palms.

You can notice that supply vents have dampers or slats to control the amount and directions of the airflow. Also, supply vents tend to be smaller than return vents.

Return Vents

Return vents are attached to the return ducts where the room air is pushed into and sent to the central HVAC system for conditioning. If you put paper over the return vents, you will notice a gentle suction. You can barely feel it using your palms.

Dampers and slats are unnecessary for the return vents. Thus, these items usually look more straightforward than the supply vents. Return vents are also generally larger compared to the supply vents.

Closing Air Conditioner Vents When Not in Use

Some people like closing their air conditioner vents in unused rooms. They believe doing this trick on supply vents would lower energy consumption and save them money. Some even think it would send more cool air to other rooms as compensation. Unfortunately, this assumption is far from the truth.

Air conditioner vents do not send out the air. They only work as a door. Closing supply vents may block the cool air from entering the room, but it will not affect the AC operation. Your central system will still produce the same amount of cooling. If anything, the closing trick may instead do more harm than good.

The conditioned air will be forced back to the ductwork network with the airflow blocked. As a result, the air pressure will increase in time. Eventually, it will seep through duct leaks instead of rerouting to the following rooms. Thus, the undelivered cooling will go to waste rather than adding extra cooling to other rooms.

The system would spend more energy than it needs to compensate for the heat loss. Not to mention that the HVAC cycle might get unstable, which puts it at risk of early breakage and malfunctions. If you have rooms you rarely use, you can consider calling a professional HVAC company to create a zoning system instead. 

Every part of the HVAC matters, including the air conditioner vents. Although they may not hold a vital role in the system, you will eventually experience problems if you don’t care for them well. If you have any trouble or doubts with your vents and are unsure what to do, you should call a professional to resolve it.



ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.


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