Answers to some of our most frequently received questions on HVAC vent covers, registers, and decorative and custom components for forced air systems, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Proper fit is best determined by measuring the duct opening. First, remove the existing grille or vent cover. If there is a layer of paint or caulk around the grille, scoring this with a utility knife will prevent paint from peeling when the existing grille is removed. Next, measure the duct opening first by length, then by height. This measurement represents the pattern area and will be the measurement used to match to the grille size in the product listing. The total, or outside dimension, will be approximately 2” larger. For step-by-step instructions visit our How to Measure a Vent Cover page.
The majority of our products are made to order to your specifications, and current lead times are between 4-6 weeks for custom orders in most patterns and finishes. If your order is urgent, please contact us for a delivery estimate or expedite options.
We recommend painting the sheet metal behind the grill a flat black. An optional louver or damper that fits behind the vent cover can also help hide the duct work.
While there is no standard vent cover size, duct openings usually come in round numbers and multiples of 2″. If you don’t see your measurement listed on the product page please contact us to create a custom vent cover for you.
Air vent covers and registers are the same product. Since these terms are synonyms you may see the terms vent cover and register used interchangeably. For additional detail on the similarities and differences, please see our Difference Between a Register, Grille and Vent Cover page.
All of our cast aluminum grilles are suitable for use in floor, wall or ceiling applications. Our laser cut aluminum grilles are not meant to bear weight and are best suited for the wall and ceiling. We recommend a steel register for floor application.
Whether your grille is for the floor, wall or ceiling will determine the material used for the vent cover.
Cast Aluminum: Lightweight and durable. Perfectly suited for floor, wall or ceiling applications.
Laser Cut Aluminum: Lightweight and durable, but not meant to bear weight. These are best suited for the wall and ceiling.
Laser Cut Steel: Heavy-duty and designed to bear weight, laser cut steel registers are the best choice for floor applications.
Whether your system holds the filter at the grille or at the unit will determine whether a filter grille is necessary. Please contact us if you have any questions or need any help determining which type of register or grille you may need.
We provide a washable, black ‘hog-hair’ filter with every filter grille. These filters have a MERV-8 rating and should last the life of the system. If you plan on using your own filter, we will need to know the exact outside dimension of the filter as every manufacturer is slightly different. Our filter frames come with a 2″ deep filter box.
The filters we provide with our filter grilles are black are not noticeable behind the grille.
Louvers and Opposed Blade Dampers (OBD) are separate items that get installed into the duct opening before installation of the grille. OBDs come approx 1/2″ under the duct size and are supplied with a neoprene gasket. Once the gasket is wrapped around the OBD, it can be pressure fitted into the duct. Louvers are approx 1/8″ under the duct opening and it is recommended to be attached via sheet metal screws.
There are a variety of reasons to choose cast aluminum over iron. Aluminum includes significant weight savings over cast iron. Aluminum also does not corrode or rust in the way that iron does. Once powder coated or painted, the two materials are indistinguishable from each other. Cast aluminum matches the durability and we provide a lifetime warranty for all of our cast aluminum grilles. Learn more about the differences here.
Function wise, there is no difference between a supply air grille and a return air grille. The difference between the two is only the function of the air duct that they each cover (supply duct pushes air into the room, return duct pulls it out). A decorative register or grille will work for both applications.
In some cases, a return air grille may hold a filter. In that case please indicate so at the time of order, or shop from our filter grille collection. For additional info visit this page explaining the difference in more detail.