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Steady the Flow – HVAC Vent System Placement

HVAC vent system

Home heating and cooling systems can be a bit mysterious. If everything is running fine, then for most people, there is no worry. Hakuna matata. But if temperatures fluctuate in different areas of your home, your flow could be off. We aren’t talking about your yoga flow, but your HVAC vent system. Not all vents are created equal. An HVAC system needs both supply and return registers to run properly. For your unit to run efficiently, the supply and return registers also need to be in the right place. Not sure how the HVAC vent system works? We explain more below.

Understanding Your HVAC Vent System

Return Registers

Depending on your home, return registers can be large and centrally located or in every room. To help with flow and temperature control, HVAC professionals recommend that each room has a cold air return vent. These vents are commonly located on an interior wall. Cold air return vents can also save on energy costs by pulling air from inside your home rather than the variable outside air.

Supply Registers

Supply register vents should be in every room as well. Located on the outer walls, under windows, in the ceiling, or on the floor, placement depends on the heating or cooling system as well as the construction of the home. Supply vents help change the room temperature to your desired heat or cool setting.
Be careful that the return and supply registers are not too close together. The air from the supply vent needs time to circulate the room. If the vents are too close together, this can cause the air to slip away without impacting the room temperature.

Proper Placement of Vents

Below are a few HVAC vent system considerations and placement recommendations.


Since the goal of return vents is to get the air back to your heating and cooling units, height can be flexible. Depending on the duct systems, they can in the floor or ceiling.
The supply vents, which push air throughout your house, must be in the proper place. Your heating and cooling systems, as well as the construction of your home, will determine the height.

Room Placement

Room placement can be key to keeping your home evenly heated and cooled. Large rooms should have at least one supply register. The supply register should also not be too close to doors, so the air doesn’t escape.

Window Placement

For optimum flow, most homes are designed with supply registers close to the windows. The warm air pushed up from the vents can create a buffer layer against the window.

Your HVAC vent system is an important part of the heating and cooling of your home. Correct placement can help save money and keep your family comfortable. Think your vents and ducts may need an update? Contact us to have one of our HVAC specialists take a look.