Why It Matters
Here’s the thing many homeowners don’t realize about air conditioning — where you place vents in your home has a big impact on the efficiency of the system.
Whether you’re looking to replace your A/C unit, or add new ductwork to your home, it pays to think about where in your home the vents will be located. Take a look at the science behind why we place air conditioning vents and units where we do, and why that contributes to the most efficient and comfortable space possible.
Keep Air Ducts Near the Ceiling
You’ll notice that in most older homes, the vents are placed near the floor. The problem with this is furniture tends to get pushed over the top, blocking the vent from working properly. Another drawback is that things like dust, toys, and moisture can find their way down into the ducts, resulting in air restrictions and mold. Vents cut into floors lack the size needed for modern airflow requirements as well.
Placing your air conditioning vents high keeps that cool air circulating throughout the room. In this setup, the air is pulled back into the system by way of a large return air vent placed low on a central wall in the home. This solution cools or heats your home evenly without uncomfortable hot and cold spots, reducing your energy use and therefore saving you money.
Install Ducts to Complement Your Lifestyle
The height of your air conditioning vents isn’t the only thing to consider. You should also think about where these vents will be most useful in complementing your lifestyle. For example, you may want to place a vent above your bed, or pointed toward your couch so you can easily cool your body when it’s needed most. That way, you don’t have to wait for the entire room to cool in order to be comfortable.
Keep in mind other layout aspects of the room; not just where you’d like to feel the cool air most, but also where the cool air could be blocked or interrupted. You don’t want an air conditioning vent installed right where you might place a bookcase, or behind a door that could block the airflow. You should also avoid placing units directly above electrical fitting, or in areas that are difficult to reach for cleaning and maintenance.
Determine not only where in the room to install a vent, but also which rooms to place the vents in — since not all units will blow air into every room. If you spend most of your time in your home office, it’s a good idea to have cool air circulating throughout that room. If you don’t work from home, you might be better off blowing the cool air through your bedroom, so you can sleep better at night.
Place Ducts Based on Your Home’s Layout
In addition to assessing your lifestyle, and which rooms you use most, it’s also important to take a look at how the system will work with the overall layout of your home. The goal is to balance your unit or vents from room to room, so the whole house becomes comfortable.
Finding the right location to place your air conditioning vents and units isn’t difficult if you have a licensed installer there to help you. He or she should be able to find the best location for the unit, based on your personal situation. Keep the abovementioned tips in mind when working with your installer, so you can decide on the most efficient solution for your home and lifestyle together.
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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