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How to Install a Return Air Vent

Learning how to install a return air vent could solve the problem of hot and cold spots in your home. Insufficient return air flow could be the cause of your heating and cooling system’s lackluster performance. If your system can’t draw in air at the same rate it wants to blow it out, it’s like it has asthma. The restricted airflow slows down the conditioning of your indoor air. At the same time, the equipment struggles and wears out faster.

Tools NecessaryHow to Install a Return Air Vent

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil or marker
  • Power drill
  • Tin snips
  • Drywall knife, if needed
  • A Jigsaw

Reasons to Add More Return Air Vents

A well-balanced supply and return system improves comfort. It eliminates stagnant air that does not get conditioned as much as air in rooms with return vents. Additionally, energy efficiency will increase. The return air system is not creating a bottleneck that slows down airflow. Heated or cooled air is no longer trapped in supply ducts. The blower motor no longer has to strain against the resistance of poor airflow. A knowledgeable heating and cooling technician at Oliver can design an efficient duct system.

Directions for How to Install a Return Air Vent

  1. Identify where your air supply and return ducts are located throughout the walls and ceilings.
  2. Find the locations where return air flow is lacking. These rooms likely do not heat or cool as well as other rooms. Your forced-air system has no way to pull air out of them.
  3. Decide where you can cut a new vent location and connect it to your return air ductwork.
  4. Measure the distance that needs to be spanned with new ducting. Buy an appropriate amount of ducting along with a vent cover and elbows.
  5. Try to limit the number of corners that require elbows. Turns will slow down the airflow.
  6. Mark the wall or floor where you intend to position a vent.
  7. Mark the place on the existing return ducting where you will connect the new ducting.
  8. Drill pilot holes at the corners of the new vent opening.
  9. If working on a floor, cut the flooring with a jigsaw. If working on a wall, cut the opening with a drywall knife.
  10. In order to cut the hole to connect the new ducting to the existing ducting, mark the outline of your connector piece.
  11. Start a pilot hole with the power drill.
  12. Slide the tin snips into the pilot hole and cut out the rest of the material.
  13. Fit the connector into the new hole and bend the metal tabs over the edges to secure it. Watch out for sharp edges.
  14. Run the new ducting from the new vent to the new connection with the return duct.
  15. Secure the ducting.
  16. Attach a vent cover plate with wood screws.

Professional Diagnosis of Heating and Cooling Problems

Before cutting into your walls and ducts, it’s good to know if you’re doing the right thing. Inefficient heating and cooling and hot and cold spots could result from leaking ducts or poor insulation. At Oliver, we’re experts in every aspect of indoor home comfort. We can locate the best spots for new return air vents for maximum efficiency. To improve your heating and cooling system, contact us about your ductwork today.

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

Contact us today at 1-888-810-2681 Get a Free Estimate
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