Removing an Air Vent Cover on the Floor

Christopher John

A floor vent cover is the cover that rests on top of the opening for a heating and cooling duct that runs underneath the floor. A vent cover can be both functional and decorative. Removing the cover is usually simple, but keeping it off the duct opening is dangerous.

Removing the Cover

The task of removing a vent cover is straightforward, and any homeowner should be able to do it. Most of the time, the vent cover is held in place on the floor with two screws, one on each end. Use a screwdriver to twist the screws counter-clockwise and remove them, and just lift the vent cover up to remove it.

Why Remove the Cover

Generally, the reasons to remove the vent cover, other than for some type of repair to the duct underneath the floor, are to clean, repair or replace the cover. Because air is flowing through and around the vent cover at all times, it can't help but catch some of the dust and debris particles within the passing air. Cleaning the cover helps improve the air quality inside the room. At least once a month, remove the floor vent cover and clean both sides of it, using a duster and regular household cleanser. Some vent covers also have a filter underneath them, and you need to remove the vent cover in order to replace the dirty filter.

Functions of Vent Covers

The floor vent cover itself is designed as a grille, and it serves multiple purposes. Often, you can open or close the cover to allow more incoming air or stop the air from entering the particular room. Some vent covers also allow you to adjust the direction that the air flows into the room by moving the angle of the grille. The cover also provides protection against objects falling into the duct and guards against debris in the air entering the duct or flowing from the duct into the room. Even though floor air vents are often situated in spots that are out of the way, especially from furniture, avoid leaving the cover off for too long. The open hole might serve as a temptation for small children to reach their hands into, or for pets to crawl in.


In a visual sense, a floor air vent cover also adds to the overall decor of a room, or it can take away from that decor if it clashes with the rest of the room's colors and furnishings. Covers are often made of metal but are also available in plastic and even wood. The grille portion of the cover can be either simple or elaborate, depending on your tastes and the room it occupies. You can also paint the cover in the color of your choice, instead of buying a new one in a different color.