People replace their AC vents for any number of reasons. Older AC vents eventually need to be replaced if they give way to rust or when the fins are bent. Sometimes, the vents get painted over, causing the damper lever to stick. Even if an AC vent is repairable, replacing it is less of a hassle.

Best AC Vents

Is There a Difference Between a Vent and a Register?

While people interchange the terms, a vent is a word used to describe any slatted covering for an HVAC system’s supply or a return. Registers are just one of several vent types that allow you to adjust the volume of air flowing into the room.

Are Registers and Grilles the Same?

Registers and grilles are vented fixtures that cover supplies and returns. However, there is one key difference. A register is adjustable, but a grille is unmovable.

What Is a Supply and a Return?

A supply is a vent that’s connected to an HVAC system’s supply ducts, which send air into each room of the house. A return is a vent that’s connected to the system’s return ducts, which pull in air from the inside of the home. Together, supply and return ducts circulate the indoor air.

Best Registers, Grilles & Vents

Do I Need a Regular AC Vent or an Air Booster?

Poor duct layouts may cause one room to be colder or warmer than the rest of the rooms in a house. An air booster increases the amount of air delivered into a room, helping to close the gap between the temperature difference without having to overrun your HVAC system.

Will It Harm My HVAC System to Close the AC Vent in an Unused Room?

You may think that you’re saving money by closing the AC vent in an unused room, but that simply isn’t the case. In fact, you’re costing yourself money in the long run.

A closed vent increases the static pressure in your HVAC system’s ducts, which makes the blower motor work harder. In turn, your AC unit becomes less efficient. Evaporator coils may also freeze over and ruin the compressor, leaving you with thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.

The Brilliant Air Vents You Never Knew You Needed

If I Do Close the Vent, Will All the Air Be Blocked?

Even if you do decide to close an AC vent, you won’t be able to stop all the air from coming into the room. AC vents are not designed to be airtight fixtures. Therefore, a slight bit of air will always seep out between the slats. If you feel there’s too much airflow, adjust the louvers until the vent is partially open.

Why Is There Noise Coming From My AC Vent?

There could be many reasons. If it’s a flapping or rattling noise, there may be a small object behind the vent, like a screw or a toy. A high-pitched sound is often caused by impeded airflow – The most probable suspects include a clogged filter or a blocked/closed vent.

The Best Diffusers For Your HVAC Duct System

Top 6 Best AC Vents

Need to replace your AC vents? These six vents offer the greatest value for the lowest price.

6) 12″ by 6″ Adjustable Air Supply Diffuser Review

Basic but reliable. The air vent is made of scratch-resistant steel. Unlike many AC vents, this air supply vent is not finished in a powder coating. Therefore, the ultraviolet rays from the sunlight won’t fade its pristine white coloring.

The outer dimensions of the vent measure 13.75 by 7.75 inches, and it’s made to fit a 12-by-6-inch duct opening. Thanks to its softened edges, you don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself during installation. You have the option of inserting the rectangular vent into a duct opening in the ceiling or a sidewall. With its flush-mounted design, the vent will blend seamlessly into the background.


Five louvers run across 12 vertical slats, maximizing the volume of air moving through it. A smooth damper lever with a rounded grip makes it easy to adjust the airflow, which you can point in an upward or downward direction.

5) 8″ by 4″ Adjustable Air Supply Diffuser Review

This dual-adjustable air supply diffuser is small and lightweight. Measuring 9.75 by 5.75 inches, the 13.6-ounce AC vent is suitable for use in an 8-by-4-inch opening. Despite its featherlight feel, the vent can withstand a little rough handling due to its steel construction and reinforced corners.

Coated in a pure white color, the AC vent is neutral enough to suit the decor of any room. The rectangular vent’s edges are flat, allowing for a neat flush mount on walls and ceilings. You don’t have to hunt down spare screws because the vent comes with the necessary hardware.


You can adjust the airflow 190 degrees by moving the three louvers downward or upward with the thin damper lever that’s curved for ergonomic purposes. Perpendicular to the louvers are 10 fins, which you can move left or right by hand.

4) Accord 1-Way Sidewall/Ceiling Register (ABSVWHA106) Review

A simple way to adjust the airflow. This rectangle-shaped vent is fashioned from steel that’s covered in epoxy. Although its white finish works well in most settings, you can paint the 11.78-by-7.78-inch vent the color of your choice. Accord provides two screws for flush installation in a 10-by-6-inch ceiling or wall opening.

The AC vent has 11 fins that are dual-directional. To move any or all of them, simply push the one, or ones, you want to adjust left or right. This creates a vertical airflow.

Accord 1-Way Sidewall/Ceiling Register (ABSVWHA106) Review

On the vent, there are also five louvers. You can point them horizontally at any angle of your choosing. Even though the damper lever is made of plastic, you won’t lose your grip when adjusting the louvers. The lever is textured and has a concave center, which curves to the pad of your finger.

3) Suncourt Flush Fit Register Air Booster (HC500-W) Review

An air booster with user-friendly controls. The Suncourt Flush Fit comes in your choice of white or brown. It’s meant for installation in a floor opening of 4 by 10 inches; however, a separate adapter can be purchased for insertion into a 6-by-13-inch wall opening.

The 5-watt, ETL-listed AC booster vent’s low profile reduces the risk of tripping, and the 6-foot power cord provides plenty of reach from the nearest electrical outlet. When its two 92-millimeter fans are on the highest of the three speeds, they generate an airflow of 132 cubic feet per minute.

Suncourt Flush Fit Register Air Booster (HC500-W) Review

You’ll appreciate the simplicity of the control panel. One button toggles the fan speed while another button lets you select the non-stop continuous mode or the sensor-based automatic mode. In the center of the panel, a dial offers eight temperature levels from which to choose.

2) Accord 2-Way Sidewall/Ceiling Register (ABSWWH2126) Review

Get better control over your HVAC’s airflow with this register by Accord. The 13.5-by-7.6-inch AC vent is made of 24-gauge steel, which is thick and sturdy. Since it’s stamped in a single piece, the vent doesn’t have any seams that will come apart over time.

The white, rectangular register can fit duct openings up to 12 by 6 inches, and you can install it in the ceiling or in a sidewall. Accord includes a pair of screws that are quick and easy to insert. The screws measure 1 inch long, lending the AC vent stability.

Accord 2-Way Sidewall/Ceiling Register (ABSWWH2126) Review

On the front of the vent, two 10-fin sets splay outward from one another to deflect the air in dual directions. The five vertical-running louvers are fully adjustable via the textured, finger-grip sliding lever to maximize the volume of air that blows from the one-half-inch gaps between the fins.

1) AC Infinity Airtap T4 Register Booster Review

Sleek and advanced. The AC Infinity Airtap T4 is an aluminum register booster that’s precision cut by a CNC machine. Its matte white finish gives it a cool, crisp look, and the LCD display is a perfect blend of form and function. AC Infinity provides the screws, mounting hardware and 6-foot adapter cord necessary for installation and use in a 4-by-10-inch duct opening.

Inside the AC vent booster, there are two fans that boast two-speed, 92-millimeter stator blades that push out up to 120 CFM. Thanks to the integration of dual ball bearings and pulse width modulation technology, the fans never get louder than 18 decibels.

AC Infinity Airtap T4 Register Booster Review

From the display screen, a single button lets you control the fan speed. A pair of arrow buttons lets you set the thermostat to your desired temperature. To recall your last-known settings after a power outage, AC Infinity put a backup memory function in the Airtap T4.

AC Vent Buyer’s Guide

If you’re ready to pick out some new AC vents, there are a few shopping points you should keep in mind.


Of course, you want to measure carefully to make sure the AC vent fits. However, don’t make the mistake of measuring the vent itself, particularly not its exterior and not even the interior. Instead, take measurements of the duct opening to get an accurate fit.


Usually, AC vents are made from aluminum or steel. When it comes to sheer strength, steel is tougher than aluminum. On the other hand, aluminum is lighter. Aluminum can corrode and steel can rust. That’s why manufacturers protect their AC vents with epoxy or a powder-coated finish.

ac vents

The Finish

If you decide to paint your walls or ceiling in the future, you may want the vent to match the new color. The AC vent’s finish may make this endeavor tricky. Paint has trouble adhering to powder coating, so some surface sanding will be in order. For an epoxy, you can just slap on a layer of primer.


Think about where the vents will go – the ceilings, the walls or the floors. Basic AC vents can usually be installed in any of those three locations, but it’s best to use vents with dull edges in floor openings. Air boosters are generally restricted to floor-use only; however, some models can be adapted for wall installation.


Flush versus non-flush mounting comes down to personal preference. If you want to minimize the appearance of the vent, a flush-mounted model is the better choice. Keep in mind that air boosters won’t mount flush due to the fans and components inside of them, but there are some with a slim profile.


In most cases, “hardware included” just means the AC vent comes with two screws, but it’s always nice when you don’t have to procure your own. For air booster registers, screws, a mounting plate and an adapter cord should be provided.

ac vents buying Guide


The most important aspect to consider in terms of louvers is whether they’re adjustable or stationary. Adjustable louvers offer more control over the flow of air. Those that do adjust typically move all at once. Side note – Make sure the damper lever offers a comfortable, firm grip.


With the fins, or slats, there are several features to weigh. Movable fins let you direct the airflow beyond what the louvers can help you do. If they can be adjusted, find out whether you can adjust them individually – Again, this feature allows for further control. The number of fins and the space between each fin also matter. With more open space, you get a greater air volume.

One-Way or Multiple-Way

Vents with stationary fins come in one-way and multiple-way versions. Multiple-way vents point the air in opposite directions to increase the air circulation in the room, and they come in two-way, three-way and four-way varieties.

Special Considerations for Air Boosters

Air boosters are a different AC-vent breed due to their internal fans and electrical components. If you’re in need of an air booster or two, here’s what you should know before you buy one.

The Fan

While there are single-fan models, dual-fan air boosters generate a higher airflow, which is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Those with long fan blades also contribute to the booster’s airflow production.

AC vents Guide

Temperature Control

Depending on the model, there will be a simple turning knob that offers notched temperature selections or directional arrows for degree-by-degree temperature adjustment. Both styles are easy to use, so you simply have to decide which one you like the best.


Manufacturers will list their air booster’s wattage in the specs. If you’re big on saving energy, you’ll find that these AC vents don’t consume a lot of power. While you’re reviewing the specs, be sure to check out the length of the adapter cord – It needs to be long enough to extend from the duct opening to an electrical outlet.

The Best of HouseholdMe in Your Inbox!

We’d love to stay in touch, sign up for the HouseholdMe team to contact you with great news, content and offers.

* indicates required