Did you know that return vents are a critical part of your home’s heating system? Do you know what condition yours are currently in? Read on to learn more about return vents and how they can harm your furnace if not kept clean.
What Are Return Vents?
Your furnace’s return vents are installed in your home. They accommodate airflow to the furnace. It is fair to say that they are the precise counterparts for supply vents, which are the small vents you most likely know for blowing hot air into the living space. A return vent is much larger than the supply vents, and you will find them on a wall or the ceiling. Because they are designed to pull air in, we always recommend having them cleaned.
What Are the Problems With Dirty Vents?
As the return vent sucks in air, it also sucks in dust, dirt, pet dander, and other particulates in the air. The return vent usually has a filter. If the filter is not changed regularly, it can form an obstruction, and the airflow is restricted. When air cannot flow freely into the furnace, the appliance has to work harder to heat your house. The vent itself should also be kept clean.
Dirty or grimy vents can contribute to poor air quality in your home. Here are more problems that could result from dirty filters and return vents.
A Significant Decrease in Efficiency
Your furnace relies on available airflow to function. It will use more energy if it has to work harder to bring in air from the return vents. You will notice this in the form of higher heating bills that keep increasing and are consistently much more expensive than they should be.
Working Harder Puts More Strain on the Furnace
When your furnace works harder than normal, it is more likely to break down. Various components will experience an increase in wear and tear. You may notice unusual sounds when turning on the furnace. Eventually, you may be dealing with breakdowns and a call to our shop to send out a repair technician.
Strain on the Appliance Can Reduce Its Lifespan
When airflow is restricted and dirt and other particulates make their way into your heating or cooling system, premature failure is a common outcome. Remember that the manufacturer estimates the furnace’s expected lifespan based on a system where each component works well, including the return vents. Further, neglecting routine maintenance such as cleaning the vents could void the warranty if the appliance fails before the warranty expires.
Gradual Decline in Air Quality
Living space air quality is a big deal. But when the return vents are dirty, they circulate dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and anything else building up. These contaminants are sent to the furnace and circulated through the supply vents throughout your home. If you or a loved one has allergies, asthma, or other upper respiratory issues, they may worsen.
Even if you do not have any health problems, you might notice that you wake up in the mornings with a sore throat. Maybe you are coughing in the mornings, or it takes a while for your breathing to normalize upon awakening. Declining air quality can potentially cause these problems and many more.
We Clean Return Vents the Right Way
There is so much more to thoroughly cleaning the return vents than simply aiming the vacuum attachment in their general direction. Our technicians will come out and complete the following steps:
- Turn off the furnace
- Remove the vent from the return vents
- Vacuum the vents with a commercial-grade vacuum
- Deep clean the vent covers
- Reinstall the covers
- Turn the furnace on and ensure proper operations
Keeping your return vents clean in between professional cleanings is a way of maintaining your furnace and ensuring it operates efficiently. Additionally, be sure you are not blocking the vents with plants, artwork, or furniture. And remember to call us once a year for a furnace inspection and tune-up.
A-1 Heating Air Conditioning & Electric serves residential and commercial customers in Meridian, ID and the surrounding area. As part of our services, we can assist you with improving indoor air quality, sealing air ducts, setting up zoning systems, and replacing or installing HVAC systems in new construction settings. We also do heating and cooling repairs, installation, and maintenance. We also offer a broad range of electrical services. Call us today to schedule an appointment