Best Air Return Vents in 2021

Air return vents are an integral component of the HVAC system that allows the indoor air to return to the heating or cooling system in order to filter out any debris and maintain house temperature. If you’re looking for an air return vent for your home, you’ve come to the right place. Today, you’ll learn what the best air return vents are and how to choose the best option for your home.

Air Return Vent Buying Guide

With a wide number of different air vents available, finding the perfect fit for your home can be a challenge. The following guide serves to provide you with all of the information you need to make the best purchase decision.

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Return vs. Supply vs. Exhaust Vents

Return Vents

As already mentioned above, return vents are an essential part of the HVAC system. When the HVAC blows the air inside, the air temperature within the house will automatically change. Return vents filter and suction the air from a room, returning it to the centralized cooling or heating system.

Supply Vents

Supply vents are connected to the supply ducts of an HVAC system that blow conditioned air into all connected rooms of your home. These components are generally smaller than return vents, and most of them have slats so that you can manage the airflow.

Exhaust Vents

Exhaust vents can enhance air quality inside the house by eliminating moisture, pollutants, and odors. Exhaust vents provide proper ventilation for areas where such contaminants build up. Consider this as being the air purifying part of your HVAC system. Without it, a lot more airborne debris would settle inside of your lungs.

Pro Tip. All types of vents work together to create the most comfortable indoor atmosphere. Even though this guide is focused on air return vents, make sure that your home is getting a proper amount of supply airflow and ventilation.

How Many Return Vents Does My Home Need?

Typically, a home with central heat and cooling system should have one return vent in each room. Even some of the large rooms have two or three return vents.
However, it depends on the size of the home and room. Less spacious areas can get away with a single return vent, whereas larger parts of your home—e.g., living rooms—make require two or three to reduce positive air pressure.

Caution. All three types of vents play a crucial role in indoor air pressure. Positive air pressure means your return vents can’t keep up with the amount of air being pumped into a room. This can lead to doors outward-swinging doors opening on their own and expensive heating/cooling.

Important Return Vent Features

Even though it’d be nice to choose a return vent based solely on how well it blends into your home’s walls, there are many more important considerations you have to make.


Return vents are available in many different sizes that may differ from room to room. It’s essential to measure each return vent that you are planning to replace in order to get the correct dimensions. A return vent is determined according to its louvers’ size. To measure the vent correctly, remove the existing return vents and measure the air duct opening. If the size measures 4 x 10 inches, then you will need a 4 x 10-inch vent.


Not only did the return vents come in a wide array of sizes, but they also available in a range of styles from modern to traditional-looking vents. Aside from being a filter system to provide conditioned air, many manufacturers specifically design the cover of their return vents to give a different aesthetical look in a room. So, choose whichever you find interesting to replace those industrial-looking return vents in your house.

Adjustable Louvers

Although louvers are usually found in supply vents, some return vents allow you to adjust inward airflow direction. If you plan to purchase return vents with louvers, make sure the louvers provide adjustability so that you can change the size and number of the tooth as well as the position of the gears that rotate the louvers gearing.

Ease of Maintenance

The material of the cover for the return air vents determines its maintenance. Most of the return vents made of steel with powder-coat finish have high durability and less prone to scratch. As to maintain the return vents itself, monthly cleaning is recommended. You can do it by cleaning the debris clog in the vents and change the filter.


What are the signs that I need more return vents?

One of the clearest indicators that your home or a specific room doesn’t have enough air vents is negative pressure where more air pressure is blown into a room than the return vent can remove. Positive air pressure can mean the opposite—that too much of the air is being sucked away. You might need to speak with a professional HVAC service provider to see whether your home or a specific room needs more or fewer air return vents.

Why is my return vent so loud?

When you notice a rattling sound in your return vent, there are typically several common culprits. A return vent will make a sound if this device is clogged with dust and debris. Also, a poorly installed return vent and restrictive vent can produce unpleasant sounds at random times. The best solution for these issues is to call the specialist to repair or replace your HVAC ducts. This would also be the optimal time to install new vents if necessary.

When should I replace/upgrade my home’s ductwork?

The ductwork in most households can last from 10 to 15 years prior to problems arising. If your vent is over 15 years old, get them replaced before severe issues like rodents, cracks, or even damaged parts of the ducts appear is highly suggested. That way, you can prevent stuffy spaces and ensure that every area of your home is as comfortable as possible.

Can I replace the return vent by myself?

Yes, it’s possible. The vent can be removed by unfastening screws, allowing you to vacuum out the filter and outer portion of the ducts. You can also remove the vent entirely and swap it out for a new vent of a similar size. However, if you need to repair HVAC ducts, leave it to the pros.

Air Return Vent | Recommended | Click to see Price

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Air Return Vent | Recommended

Last update on 2021-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

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About the author

Hi I’m Alexander, founder of and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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