When installed correctly, an upgraded HVAC system can save as much as 20% on heating and cooling.
Among the decisions you’ll need to make when upgrading your HVAC system is the placement of the air registers. Floor, wall, and ceiling registers are all options. So which one is best?
The answer depends on various factors, including the climate in which you live and the design of your home. In many cases, though, floor registers are the ideal choice.
Read on to learn more about the advantages of installing floor registers in your home.
Floor Registers Optimize Heating Capacity
It’s a basic fact of science: Warm air rises. Unfortunately, warm air pooling at the ceiling can make for chilly conditions at ground level, where you, your family, and your guest spend your time.
Ceiling and wall registers do little to address this problem. In fact, they simply add to the warm air circulating high above your head.
In contrast, floor heat registers concentrate heating capacity where you need it. When heat enters from the floor, it will warm the entire room as it rises.
This makes floor registers absolutely essential for cooler climates.
Floor Registers Minimize Heat Transfer
Whether you live in a warm, cool, or varying climate, uninsulated attic space can be a significant obstacle to achieving a comfortable temperature in your home. An uninsulated attic lets cooled air escape in the summer and heated air escape in the winter.
Ceiling registers facilitate this heat transfer. In contrast, floor registers counter it, keeping properly cooled or heated air in the living spaces of your home.
Floor Registers Are Easy to Clean
Cleaning ceiling and wall registers usually requires a ladder, step stool, or chair. This adds to the time and effort needed to complete the job. For safety, it also means that cleaning ceiling and wall registers should be a two-person job.
You likely know from experience: The longer a job takes and the more effort involved, the less likely it is to get done. Such procrastination—avoidance, even—is especially problematic when it comes to HVAC maintenance.
Airflow is a key component of any HVAC system. To effectively heat or cool a room, the air needs an unobstructed path. Over time, dust, pet hair, and other debris can clog air registers. This reduces the efficiency of your unit, which, in turn, increases energy costs and decreases your comfort. It can also put undue stress on the HVAC unit, shortening its life.
With floor vent registers, it’s easy to see when dirt has accumulated. It’s also easy—and wise—to incorporate cleaning your floor registers each time you clean your floors. Fortunately, this job doesn’t require a ladder or any additional tools or products, and it’s likely already part of your ongoing home maintenance plan.
The same can’t be said of cleaning your walls and ceilings or any vents inconveniently placed along their surfaces. Any benefits these placements offer in terms of cooling capacity are, thus, lost when inaccessible registers inevitably become clogged.
Floor Registers Are Stylish
Some homeowners worry that floor registers will limit their layout and design options, especially in small rooms. However, the wide range of floor register options lets you incorporate them into any aesthetic.
Floor register covers are available in various styles and finishes from unobtrusive neutrals to intricate designs. In fact, decorative floor registers can actually enhance the appearance of a room.
Tips for Choosing, Installing, and Maintaining Floor Registers
Once you’ve decided to go with floor registers, other decisions remain. For example, what floor registers should you choose? And where will you put them?
Your answers to these questions will further determine the benefits you’ll enjoy from your project.
1. Install Floor Registers Beneath the Windows
Experts recommend placing floor registers beneath the windows. Doing so lets the cooled and heated air mix with the air entering from the outside. Ultimately, the result is a more comfortable interior climate.
Placing floor registers beneath windows also keeps them out of the room’s normal traffic pattern, which is important for everyone’s safety. In a windowless room, an interior wall provides a similarly safe location.
These locations, finally, provide the easiest access for ongoing maintenance and repairs.
2. Avoid Putting Furniture or Rugs Over Floor Registers
Again, unobstructed airflow is key to energy efficiency and a comfortable climate. It also prevents pressure imbalances that can cause your HVAC system to break down.
As you decide on a layout for each room, therefore, avoid placing furniture atop the air registers.
3. Choose the Best Floor Registers for Your Needs
You’ve read this far, so you’re already thinking about aesthetics. It goes without saying that the best floor register for you matches your style.
However, you’ll need to consider other factors as well.
If you live with small children, for example, it’s important to consider the size of the grates. Wider grates enhance airflow, but they also let small children slip toys and other objects between them. Besides losing valuable items, these situations can cause damage to your HVAC system.
If you haven’t taken care to secure the registers to the floor, moreover, children and pets can also lift them or knock them loose. Again, careful planning is essential to your family’s safety and comfort.
Finally, if you live with small children or pets, you should consider various materials for floor registers. Metal floor registers are the most durable and tend to offer the greatest airflow. However, they can be sharp. Using plastic covers for a few years when your children are young can save tiny fingers from injury.
Once your children learn to leave them alone, it’s easy to swap plastic covers for more durable and efficient metal floor registers, like these from truaire.com.
Making HVAC Decisions? Stay Grounded with Floor Registers
Floor registers offer many benefits. They maximize heating capacity and minimize heat transfer. They’re also stylish and easy to clean.
The tips above will help you make the most out of your new floor registers. As you enjoy the benefits that follow, count on our blog for other tips to optimize your home and your life.