Should You Install Filters in Your Return Vents?

In general, an air filter should be installed in each return vent (as long as you choose one of the right size and thickness). The filters will enhance your home’s air quality and safeguard your HVAC equipment from dust, pollen, pet dander, and hair. Some people, however, opt not to install filters in their return vents because they believe it would hinder airflow or they do not want to deal with the trouble of replacing them on a regular basis. It is ultimately up to you whether or not to employ filters in your return vents. If you are worried about air quality or HVAC maintenance, though, employing filters is a viable choice. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using filters in your return vents so that you can make an informed decision.


The Pros of Using Filters in Your Return Vents

  1. Enhanced Air Quality – One of the main benefits of using filters in your return vents is that it enhances the air quality in your home. This is especially important if anyone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma. By filtering out dust, pollen, pet dander, and hair, you can greatly improve the indoor air quality of your home and create a healthier environment for everyone.
  2. Safeguarded HVAC Equipment – Another benefit of using filters in your return vents is that it safeguards your HVAC equipment from damage. Over time, dust and other debris can accumulate inside your HVAC system and cause it to malfunction–or even break down entirely. By using filters, you can help extend the life of your HVAC system and avoid costly repairs or replacements down the road. 

The Cons of Using Filters in Your Return Vents

  1. Reduced Air Flow – One potential downside of using filters in your return vents is that it can reduce airflow somewhat. This is because the filter will trap some of the airflows as it passes through. However, modern filters are designed to minimize this effect as much as possible while still doing their job effectively. Additionally, you can offset any reduction in the airflow by making sure that your vents are clear of debris such as furniture or drapery. 
  2. Replacing Filters Regularly – Another potential downside of using filters in your return vents is that you will need to replace them on a regular basis (usually every 1-3 months). Depending on how many return vents you have in your home, this could end up being somewhat costly over time. However, many homeowners find that the cost is worth it for the enhanced air quality and peace of mind that come with using filters. 

Overall, there are both pros and cons to using filters in your return vents. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use them comes down to personal preference and needs. If you are concerned about air quality or protecting your HVAC system, then installing filters in your return vents is a good idea. On the other hand, if you are worried about airflow or the cost of replacing filters regularly, then you may want to forego them altogether. Whichever route you decide to take, we hope this article has helped give you a better understanding of how using return vent filters can impact your home.


We offer air duct and dryer vent cleaning services in the Greater Sudbury area. Call or text  today for a free estimate at 705-996-4553


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