Vent covers are a very common household object.  It’s one of those things that you just don’t think about unless you want to replace them, you drop a valuable item into them, or your cat decides that it is a great place to have her babies.

Their basic function is to cover the large gap in the floor, wall, or ceiling where the air comes in or out from the heating or air conditioning system.  The return air vent cover has a different function than the vent where the heated or cooled air comes from.  It is normally less decorative and filtered.  It is important to keep your return air vent unblocked by furniture or clutter.  Changing your filter when it gets dirty (or whenever you’re supposed to) will keep your furnace running efficiently and for a longer time.

The vents that the heated or cooled air come out of normally have an open or closed feature which helps to conserve energy by blocking the temperature adjusted air from going into an unused room.

Vent covers come in a variety of styles and are made of many types of materials.  They can be made of metal, plastic, or wood.  They are pretty easy to install and most people can do it in just a few minutes … unless you get the wrong size and have to adjust the vent to fit the cover.  That’s another story.

Floor vents just sit on top of a hole in the floor while wall and ceiling vent need to be held in place.  You normally just need a couple of screws for these but some of the wall vents have a device which locks into place when turned.  I’m not crazy about the turning mechanism but I’m a bit uncoordinated and can’t seem to work them without struggling.

Vents are often times bought to match the home’s décor.  I’ve got wood vents just because I want my vents to blend into the floor and be less noticeable.  If you get some fancy vents I’d imagine you would want them to stand out and make a statement.