What Is the Difference Between Air Ducts and Air Vents?

air ducts vs air vents

A lot of people don’t know what is the difference between air ducts and air vents, and it’s an understandable mistake. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a big difference between the two. Novak Heating and Cooling explain the key differences between air ducts and air vents so you can better understand how they work and how to care for them.

What Are Air Ducts?

The ductwork of a forced air HVAC system is responsible for delivering the conditioned air throughout the building. The ducts are typically made of sheet metal or similar material that is sturdy enough to withstand the pressures of the airflow. The size of the ducts can vary depending on the layout of your home. Ducts are often insulated to help reduce noise and prevent heat loss. In some cases, the ductwork may also include a system of baffles or dampers that help to regulate the flow of air.

When your furnace or air conditioning is running, there is a fan inside the HVAC unit that blows the air through a network of distribution ducts, where it is then distributed evenly throughout the house.

Return ducts play an important role in your home’s HVAC system, too. They are the air ducts that carry air from your home back to the furnace or air conditioner.

What Are Air Vents?

The air vents of an HVAC system are the openings through which air is delivered into the room. The size, shape, and location of the air vents are determined by the design of the HVAC system. The most common type of air vent is the floor vent, which is designed to deliver air into the room at a low level. Other types of air vents include ceiling vents, wall vents, and register vents.

The air vents in your home are an important part of your HVAC system. They help to circulate air throughout the house and keep the temperature regulated. The return vents allow stale indoor air to enter the return ducts and cycle back to the HVAC unit. The air is then warmed or cooled by the HVAC system and pushed back out through the distribution ducts and vents. Supply vents blow conditioned air out of them. Supply vents are often high on walls or near the ceiling. This process helps to ensure that the air in your home is clean and comfortable.

How to Clean Air Ducts and Air Vents

Many people don’t realize how important it is to keep their air ducts clean. Over time, dirt, dust, and other allergens can build up in the ductwork, and when the furnace or air conditioning kicks on, these contaminants are circulated through the home. The build up can cause low air flow to particular rooms and create hot and cold spots throughout your house, not to mention indoor air quality issues like respiratory issues, headaches, and fatigue.

Professional air duct cleaning can help to remove these contaminants and improve indoor air quality. The process is simple: a specially trained technician will insert a powerful vacuum into the ductwork and remove all the buildup. In most cases, the entire system can be cleaned in just a few hours. And best of all, regular duct cleaning can help to extend the life of your HVAC system. This service should be performed every 3 to 5 years or more often if needed.

To keep your system running smoothly and prevent the spread of contaminants in your home’s air, it’s important to clean your HVAC air vent covers on a regular basis. The frequency with which you need to clean them will depend on the type of system you have and the characteristics of your home, but in general, it’s a good idea to do so at least once a month. Here’s how:

  • First, start by vacuuming the area around the vent cover to remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated there.
  • Next, remove the vent cover and use a mild soap and water solution to clean the vent cover itself.
  • Be sure to rinse it thoroughly afterward.
  • Once the cover is dry, you can put it back in place.

Professional Duct Services in Cedar Rapids, IA from Novak

The bottom line is that air ducts and vents are not the same things, and it’s important to understand the difference in order to maintain a healthy home environment. If you have any questions about your ventilation system or would like to schedule a duct cleaning, please contact Novak Heating, Air, and Duct Cleaning today.