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The Basics of Air Supply Registers and Return Grilles

June 03, 2019

A lot of our attention is focused on maintaining our air-conditioning and heating systems, and for good reason: They require regular maintenance to operate efficiently and keep us comfortable.

Often neglected, though just as important, is air-return maintenance, because an efficient HVAC system relies on the efficiency of the air supply registers and return grilles.

To function effectively, an air-supply and return system should follow these principles:

  • Each room in your home should have a return-air register, as well as a supply register. Some homes, though, were not designed in this way. If this is the case in your home, be sure that there’s a space under the door so that airflow can circulate out of the room to find its way to a return-air register. For optimal efficiency, it’s ideal to have return registers installed.
  • To ensure efficiency during the cooling season, your home should have high registers. High return registers draw hot air that rises to the ceiling back into the system to repeat the cooling cycle. Without high registers, your home’s low-level registers will draw cooler air back to the system, and your rooms will be left with the warm air at the ceiling. If you have a two-story home, having high-level returns installed on the second floor will increase comfort and energy savings dramatically. Installed on both floors, high returns will significantly boost comfort and savings.
  • For optimal comfort, supply registers need to be installed on outer walls and under windows, whereas return registers are ideally located on inside walls. If your home’s supply and return registers are too close to each other, it’s likely that air cannot circulate appropriately, because the return register will quickly whisk supply air back into the ductwork.

If you suspect that your supply and return system is less than adequate, call the experts at Jon Wayne Heating & Air Conditioning for air-return maintenance. Our four decades of experience serving San Antonio homeowners definitively positions us to address problems that are unique to your home.

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