How to Adjust the Vents in Your House

Heating and cooling your home is expensive, and it's a good idea to have your HVAC system checked regularly and serviced to keep it in top working condition.

It is also important to have ducts checked since they can shift or come apart, allowing precious heated or cooled air to vent into the basement, crawl spaces and attic. You should also check your room vents, furnace filters and vent ducts. Improvements and vent adjustments will save you money.

Purchase adjustable vents if the vents in your home or apartment are fixed. Remove the old fixed or damaged vent using a screwdriver (it should be screwed into the subfloor).

Vacuum the duct that is within reach of your vacuum attachment. It is important to remove hair, pet dander, dirt and debris, as these will process through the duct and into the air you breathe. Cleaning the duct will improve your air quality. Children sometimes stuff things into the vents, blocking air flow. Change the filter on your system before turning it on for the season.

Check the duct at the vent to make sure it is well connected. You should not see holes or gaps, through which air can escape into walls or between floors, costing you heating and air conditioning money.

Make sure your adjustable vents are secured tightly. It is important that they are attached firmly to prevent rattles and other noises when air is moving through them. Install plastic air baffles on vents near furniture. These direct air flow toward the middle of the room.

Place a thermometer in each room for at least an hour while your system is running. This will show you the different temperatures in each room, and may show you areas with problems.

Shut off vents in rooms that are not being used. Add draft stoppers along hallway doors to rooms that are not in use. This prevents air loss into unused rooms.

Adjust vents in rooms in use. Vents should be adjusted by how far the room is from the furnace or AC system, and how hot or cold the room needs to be. Work with your home holistically by adjusting the thermostat and vents until each room is the temperature you want.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum
  • Filters
  • Thermometer
  • Vent baffles
  • Door draft stoppers


  • Vent and thermostat adjustments should be done seasonally because room uses change and different equipment may be used. Change filters as recommended by the manufacturer, and keep vents and areas around vents vacuumed.

About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.