Whether you’re running your air conditioner during the hot Florida summers or your furnace during the short and cool winters, the placement of your registers can impact not only the efficiency of your HVAC unit overall, but it can also impact your comfort and perhaps even your safety.
Design Flaw #1 – Register on Top, Return on Bottom
It’s common to find a register in the top of a room and the return on the bottom, and this is particularly true in attic spaces that have been converted into living spaces – especially in older homes. This causes problems because, in the summer months, the cooled air coming from your register immediately sinks where it is pulled in through the return. This means it never really has a chance to circulate and cool the room. When the furnace is in use, the warm air that comes from the register rises naturally. When it is coming from a register that is placed high in the room, it will continue to hug the ceiling and never get a chance to heat the room.
Design Flaw #2 – Heating and Cooling Registers on Interior Walls
While it might make sense to put your heating and cooling registers on the interior walls of your home since they tend to stay warmer, this isn’t always the best idea. In the case that you’re dealing with a windowless room, it is perfectly fine to locate the register on just about any wall. However, if there are large windows in the room, this isn’t the best choice. Windows are the coldest part of the wall (even the best windows) and they can cause cold drafts that make many people feel uncomfortable. When a heat register is placed directly under the window, as long as that window is well insulated, it will mingle with that cooler air and prevent the drafts that make you feel chilly.
Design Flaw #3 – Poor Locations in Basements
If the air handler itself is in the basement, placing a return register in the basement isn’t always a good idea. If the basement is home to combustion-fueled appliances like water heaters, furnaces and even gas-powered clothes dryers, then putting a return register in the basement can be problematic. It may starve these appliances for air and allow dangerous combustion gases to escape their usual paths and enter into the living space. These gases are toxic and poisonous, so it is best to avoid placing return registers in the basement at all. In many cases, careful placement of heat registers can avoid the need to install them.
As you can see, the location of your registers can pose some significant problems. If you are building a new home, or even if you are considering the relocation of your ductwork, then you can contact your local Tampa HVAC professional to get more information about the proper placement of heat and return registers. This way, you can rest assured that your family is comfortable and safe, and also that your HVAC equipment is running as efficiently as possible.