Why Is The Return Air Vent Essential To HVAC?

Nothing is better than a properly functioning HVAC system. They keep your home or business at a comfortable temperature. While many people know how to operate their HVAC system, very few homeowners actually know how it works. Your air conditionings return air vent is a critical component of an HVAC system. It serves several purposes to the system as a whole and if not taken care of can cause many problems. Not only does a return air vent maintain your buildings air pressure and filter out debris, they can also serve to save you on energy costs and expenses. Here, Fritts Heating & Air discusses return air vents and their importance to your overall HVAC system.

Clean Air Ducts | Fritts Heat & Air

the Difference Between Supply and Return Air Vents

If your home has central heating and cooling, you’ll notice two types of vents on your walls. 

  • Supply vents: These are the vents that blow air into each room. The conditioned air goes from your air conditioner or furnace, travels through the ductwork and exits out the supply vents. These vents are easy to identify, as they’re the only vents from which you can feel conditioned air blowing out. 
  • Return vents: What is a return vent? These vents suck the air from each room and send it back to the air conditioning or heating system. Return vents tend to be bigger than supply vents, and you won’t feel any air coming from them. When an HVAC system delivers air to a room, it increases that room’s air pressure. Return vents exist to remove the extra air. 

The Main Benefits Of A Return Air Vent

1. Maintain Air Pressure

An HVAC system is basically a recirculating pump that works by heating or cooling air and then pumping it into a home. As conditioned air is pushed in, the air already in the home needs a place to escape. Return air vents serve this purpose by helping to pull in the air and putting it back into the system. This is what maintains proper air pressure in a home.

2. Maintain Air Quality

Buildings are prone to collecting dust particles and other allergens (such as pollen and pet dander). When your air conditioner absorbs air, provided that you have a clean air filter, it’ll also trap excess debris to keep your household’s air quality in optimal condition. The cleaner your air filers are the cleaner your air traveling through your system is.

3. Saves Money on Energy Bills

This will only be the case if your ducts are installed properly and don’t have any leaks. This is why you should only trust installation with HVAC professionals like Fritts Heating & Air and conduct a home energy audit periodically.

How Often to Change Air Filter | Fritts Heat and Air

Importance of Proper AC Return Vents


When air return vents are not working properly or blocked, the entire HVAC system stops working efficiently. Blocked vents can hinder airflow and cause the system to run inefficiently. Also, improperly placed vents can affect how a building maintains its temperature. Not only will this issue make your home less comfortable, but you will likely notice an increase in your monthly energy bill costs.

What Happens When The Return Air Vent Is Blocked?

Whether you’re trying to cool the rest of the home faster by blocking vents in unoccupied rooms, or shutting them simply because you feel like the room is too cold, remember that blocking vents is never the solution. When you close a system’s vents, you’re changing the air pressure. Your HVAC system doesn’t have a sensor that tells it the vents are closed. Therefore, it’ll keep sending the same amount of air that way.

The additional force inside your ducts will likely cause them to spring leaks; which, in turn, will increase your energy costs and decrease energy efficiency. In addition, it’ll shorten the lifespan of your HVAC system. No matter how you look at it, it’s a lose-lose situation.

Is Furniture Blocking The Return Air Vent?

You should also keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to close the vents to block the airflow. Placing furniture in front of vents is also an invitation for trouble: Wood furniture will eventually become damaged and upholstered items will foster the growth of mold and mildew, especially in hot temperature states, such as Georgia. DO NOT DO THIS!

Contact Fritts Heating & Air for HVAC Service

Fritts Heating & Air is a reliable heat and air service and HVAC contractor with over 20 years of experience. We provide Canton and North Georgia with expert heating and air conditioning services. If you need HVAC services in Atlanta, GA and throughout North Georgia, you can rely on us for your HVAC repairs and installation for residential and commercial properties. Since our inception, our philosophy is to provide our customers with quality and affordable HVAC services through professionalism and honesty.

Need HVAC service, AC repair, or a smart thermostat installed? You can rely on Fritts. We provide heating and cooling services for air conditioning repair, commercial HVAC, furnace repair, smart thermostat installation, HVAC repair and installation, and more. We also offer HVAC financing options! Contact us today online at (678) 855-8545 to schedule your HVAC service, repair, or installation.