How to Prevent the Cold Air from Your Furnace Blasting Your Family

Homes with central heat and air conditioning have a complicated system of ductwork that snake behind the walls and above the ceilings to emerge at some point in the rooms of your home. Some of these openings blast out hot air or cold depending on how the thermostat is set, while others pull cold air in from the room. These openings are usually covered with a metal or wooden grate called a grille, register, or vent.

These terms can get kind of confusing, especially when you are trying to do an on-line search of a product that will deflect the cold air from blasting your family as you are sitting down to watch television or eat supper.

A grate by any other name….

The terms grate, grille, or vent cover are used synonymously to describe a mesh screen that covers the opening of a vent into a room.

A grille with a built in damper is sometime known by the term of heat register. A register allows the operator to adjust the opening of the grille to increase or decrease the air flow into a room. A grille with angled cross pieces that redirect air flow is called a diffuser. One of the ways in which you can prevent those sudden blasts of cold air is by replacing your existing grilles with diffuser registers. These units are pricey, with aluminum models starting at $60.00 for a 2″ x 14″ model.

It may be more convenient and less expensive to purchase diffuser registers from your local Big Box hardware store, since finding diffuser registers on-line is amazingly difficult. The Atlanta Supply.com is one on-line retailer I found that carries diffuser registers in an assortment of sizes.

Vent deflectors

A cheaper alternative to a diffuser register is a vent deflector, sometimes called either a heat register deflector or an air deflector. Deflectors are typically made of a sturdy clear plastic, are adjustable in size, and attach to the wall or floor register by means of two strong magnets.

Air deflectors are priced as low as $6 and seem to cap out at $25 for the larger, floor vent sized models. The Heating-and-Cooling Hardware Store.com and Improvementscatalog.com are two online resources for this product. Air deflectors can also be found locally at your neighborhood hardware and HVAC shops.

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