When it comes to home improvement advice, it’s hard to differentiate between expert tips and anecdotal opinions. If you’ve been hearing anything unconfirmed about furniture and your ventilation system, it’s time to unlearn them all and see if room ventilation can damage your furniture.
Blocking an air vent with furniture can cause significant damage to both the furniture piece and the air vent. Since there is always a better option than placing your sofa over a vent, you should avoid doing that altogether.
In this article, you’ll learn if you can put your furniture pieces near or directly in front of a wall vent. You’ll also learn how much space you should ideally keep between a furniture piece and the nearest wall vent for the best performance, comfort, and durability.
Can I Put Furniture in Front of a Wall Vent?
It’s not ideal to put any furniture piece over or in front of any air vents. Doing that will set off a long list of potential problems, any of which you don’t want happening to your furniture, home, or ventilation system.
While there are temporary solutions that make it safe and possible to put a piece of furniture in front of a wall vent, they’re all to be used only if they meet certain conditions. Since these conditions are usually stringent, you may want to rethink trying to find a way around it in the first place.
If you want a more detailed look at the potential risks of putting your furniture in front of a wall vent, here are some of the reasons why furniture pieces and wall vents don’t work well together.
1. Damage to the furniture piece.
This is a pretty straightforward disadvantage of blocking your home’s air vent with a piece of furniture. The air from the vent is meant for the entire home; if it concentrates on the furniture only, it will dry quite rapidly, causing the wooden parts of the furniture piece to shrink.
Typically, wood shrinks when exposed to excessive air, it should be exposed when the opposite happens. However, focusing all the air from the vent to the furniture piece only will obstruct the natural state of things, destroying the furniture sooner than normal.
If the furniture piece doesn’t get destroyed completely, it will likely become excessively damaged, requiring exorbitant amounts of money to repair.
2. Unnecessarily high utility bills.
When you block an air vent with your furniture, it prevents the air from the HVAC system from heating or cooling the home effectively. Since the blocked vent is already subtracted from your HVAC system, the system will think it’s not working hard enough to meet the quota.
Consequently, the system will work harder, trying to balance your home’s temperature, using an unnecessarily high amount of power. This will get you crazy high utility bills at the end of the month, making you pay more for basically the same service.
3. Abnormal heating or cooling activity.
The air vents in your home are placed strategically to ensure that your home’s HVAC system can heat or cool the entire home evenly. By blocking one or more of the events around the home, you would have successfully disrupted the regular working of the system, creating an abnormal temperature regulation system.
In this kind of system, the room with a blocked will take significantly longer to reach the desired temperature when compared to other rooms around the home. Since your HAVC system isn’t designed to handle these kinds of unevenness, many explainable issues may occur.
4. Damage to your HVAC system.
Your furniture pieces aren’t the only things prone to damage when you block a vent in your home with a piece of furniture. While this won’t happen immediately after you block a vent, you’re inevitably killing your entire HVAC system over the long term.
When you block one or more air vents, your HVAC system will be forced to work harder than usual to meet it’s usual quota. By working significantly harder, the entire system may start to overheat, causing gradual wear and tear to the system.
If this continues unabated for extended periods, you’ll end up paying for another system in no time. Even if that didn’t happen, you’ll experience frequent problems, forcing you to pay crazy high fees for repairs that you could have avoided pretty easily.
How to Protect My Furniture from Ventilation?
While there are valid arguments for not putting your furniture over an air vent, there are equally great reasons why someone may want to place a piece of furniture over their vent.
If you have to put your furniture over ventilation, you should consider some effective methods to protect your furniture from damage. Here are two of the most effective ways to protect your furniture from possible damage from your room’s air vents.
1. Using air deflectors.
If you’re trying to hide your vents behind a sofa, you should probably consider using vent deflectors. Vent deflectors are available on most online stores and are pretty inexpensive.
While the term may sound somewhat technical, it’s so simple that it doesn’t even contain any moving parts. It’s just a device that fits over your air vent to “deflect” the direction of the air. In this case the deflector deflects the air away from your furniture to avoid all the disadvantages.
Vent deflectors aren’t only used to deflect air away from furniture. You can also use it to direct the air coming in through the vent to another direction if it happens that the vents for your HVAC system weren’t placed in the optimal locations.
It’s important to consult a professional before installing the air deflectors to ensure you’re not doing anything wrong.
2. Keep some distance.
If installing an air deflector isn’t going to work, you’ll have to place the furniture piece over the vent, but with a distance of 18 inches from the edge of the furniture to the air deflector.
If you can’t keep this distance, your only other option is installing a vent deflector. If you’re not willing to do either, you can place your furniture wherever you please.
However, you may want to make sure that you have enough savings to replace your furniture piece and the HVAC system, just in case.