There is nothing worse than going to hang up a picture and drilling right into your air vent. Air vents are metal plates that cover the holes responsible for letting in fresh air into your home. Together with air ducts, they serve as part of a home’s main ventilation, air conditioning, and the heating system. If the air duct system is damaged, the efficiency of the air conditioning and heating system is greatly compromised. If not repaired, the energy lost in a single season will cost more than the amount of money it would have cost for the materials to repair the damage.
Types of Air Vents
There are two categories of air vents. Understanding the difference can help you understand where to avoid drilling.
1. Return Vents
The return vents, usually large in size, suck the air out of your indoor spaces. It delivers the air to the air-conditioning system for treatment. Once treated, it will send back clean, temperature-controlled air into the home. Low return ducts are best for heating only applications. If you want to return warm air into the room, then consider attic systems.
1. Supply Vents
The supply vents, which are smaller than return vents, are mainly responsible for blowing conditioned air into your rooms. If you want to differentiate between a supply vent and a return vent, turn on the system fan and place a small piece of paper in front of the vent. A supply vent will blow the air out while a return vent will suck the air in.
Supply vents and return vents should not be placed too close together because one will render the other less effective. If, for example, cool air sinks in this room, it will be drawn right back up again into the return vent. So their location is important to their efficiency.
Where are Air Vents Located?
Most air vents in older homes were placed near the floor. However, furniture, rugs or carpets would often be pushed over the top and block the air vent, which in turn ended up overworking HVAC over-work. Sometimes, dust and moisture would collect inside the air vents and attract mold. These air vents placed near the floor are also restricted in size and can’t keep up with the requirements for modern airflow. Air vents also present a decorative dilemma because sometimes furniture is placed in strange areas to prevent blocking the flow of fresh air. If you live in places with punishing heat, ceiling vents help a lot because here, the hot air will rise up to the ceiling while the cool air circulates in the entire room throughout the day without being blocked, or interrupted.
Now with that in mind, hanging items in a home is one of the surest ways to make your house feel like a true home. But first, make it a point to check what’s on the other side of the wall before you start drilling into it. Double-checking will help you to avoid drilling into electrical wires, pipes, cables, and air vents.
Sometimes, it may not be easy to know what is on the other side especially if you are drilling into a solid wall instead of glass or metal sheets. The best way to go about this is to use a pipe and live wire detector. Hold it against the wall or the area you want to drill into and press the button. The detector will inform you of the presence of anything you shouldn’t drill into. This detector will also help you avoid being electrocuted in addition to preventing you from damaging the heating system.
When you’re using a drill, you should take safety precautions by wearing earmuffs and removing anything that can tangle when the drill is rotating. This includes jewelry, watches, loose clothing, etc. To protect your eyes and hands, wear goggles and gloves. Use a dust mask to avoid inhaling harmful dust particles.
5 Ways to Avoid Drilling into an Air Vent
For heavy duty decor, you can’t always avoid having to drill. But if you want to hang lightweight items, like photos for example, there are ways that you can comfortably decorate your space without having to drill through the wall at all. Here are a few tips for easy decorating without drilling into your air vent.
1. Wire Hangers
Wire hangers are made of curved steel wire and can support about 50 pounds of weight on dry hollow walls which have no obstruction. Now as most pictures weigh much less than 50 pounds, this would be a good option to use as it leaves little to no damage on the wall and the wire hangers can be easily removed. The installation is also very fast making it quite convenient and energy-saving.
2. Adhesive Strips
These are suitable for places with smooth walls and just like the wire hangers, are ideal for lightweight items especially things with flat backings. With the adhesive strips, no holes are made on the wall at all and the ideal weight of the item being hanged should be less than 5 pounds.
3. Monkey Hooks
These are J shaped hooks best for frames or items with wires that can be able to attach to the end of a hook once it has been mounted. They require no tools during installation and can support up to 50 pounds of weight.
4. Hercules Hooks
To install the Hercules Hooks, just push the hooks through the wall and facing the right side up. They can hold up to 150 pounds. Simply follow instructions and hang whatever you need to hang hustle free.
5. Hot Glue Gun and Painters Tape
While this might seem like a simple fix, it’s actually ideal for hanging light tapestry without leaving any residue behind.
In the end, the key to avoid drilling into your air vents is careful planning and knowing the layout of your home first. Remember, nothing is more important than your safety!