Sometimes you just have to look at your ventilation system and wonder, "What were they thinking?" Ventilation installation of seventy to ninety years ago is nothing like it is now, and much older ventilation systems are just mind-boggling to see. There are vents that vent into basements, cold air return vents on porches with no heating vents, and even vents that vent hot air at the ceiling where the warm air will not do anyone any good. If you have some scary or really weird ventilation systems in your building or home, here is how HVAC repair technicians can fix it.
Close off/Replace Sections of Ventilation Shafts
One option is to remove the vents from walls entirely. Replacing these vents with air shafts that are solid and will not vent anywhere is best. This is especially useful for getting rid of vents in ventilation shafts that empty air into unfinished basements. If you do not use your basement for anything but storage and you do not plan to finish your basement and turn it into a living space, then you should close off the vents and replace them with sections of ventilation shafts. Should you decide to remodel the basement at a much later date, you can always reopen these areas to vent heat or air conditioning into the basement. For now, it is a waste of heated or cooled air that makes your heating and cooling appliances inefficient.
Move Vents Closer to the Floor
Hot air rises, so placing a vent near the ceiling does nothing to heat your building or your home. It puts all the warm air you want where it will not make you feel warm at all. If you have old vents like these, the HVAC technician will remove them, move the vents closer to the floor where the heat will come across the floors and rise steadily on its own, and then seal the holes in the walls where the old vents were. If you have exposed ductwork in your building with the vents at the top of the ceiling, these vents will be closed and the technician will make new openings for new vents closer to the floor.
Heat the Porch or No Cold Air Return
Finally, if you have a cold air vent on a covered porch, you are activating your furnace constantly and for no reason. This cold air vent will constantly register the colder temperatures from the porch with no way to return heat to the porch and stop the furnace from kicking on. There are two options here. Your technician will offer to remove the cold air return vent and end this problem, or he/she will install ductwork and a heating vent to the porch to make it a heated space. The choice is up to you, but the easiest option is to just remove the cold air return vent.