Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ins and Outs of Heat Register Louver Assemblies

A heat register is a vent cover that has a pre-attached louver assembly. The louver assembly opens and closes to regulate air flow through the heat register. Today, we will take a look at the many different mechanisms manufacturers implement to control the operation of louver assemblies.

The most common technique for adjusting the dampers is to use a lever on the louver assembly. The lever extends through an opening in the grille and flips back and forth, much like a light switch, to open or close the louvers. Hamilton Sinkler and Brass Elegans implement a lever operated louver assembly. The lever is popular for its simplicity but in order to make the lever functional, it usually extends slightly above the grille. This may make the lever operated louver assembly a minor tripping hazard on a floor register in a high traffic area. Fortunately, most heat registers are placed away from the path of normal foot traffic.

Another technique is to use a thumb-actuated dial. Classic Grills louver assemblies operate with a dial. The dial eliminates the tripping hazard but a dial can be more difficult to operate. This is especially true with more ornate grille patterns where the dial may be partially obstructed by the grille. Most of us leave the registers in the open position but if you have a spare room where you frequently adjust the registers, you may want to consider this characteristic of the dial actuated louver assembly.

Reggio Register louver assemblies operate with a removable key. The louver assembly does not attach to the vent cover. It is placed in the duct behind your choice of grille. The key is inserted through an opening in the grille to actuate the louvers. In some cases, however, the keyhole will not line up with an opening in the grille and it will be necessary to remove the grille to adjust the louvers. If the grille isn’t secured with screws, it will be easy to remove and easy to adjust the louvers.

Tailored Vents provides a slide damper option for many of its wood vent covers. The damper slides back and forth in guide rails that run along the underside of the wood register. Slots in the slide damper line up with slots in the grille to allow air to pass through or to be blocked from passing through the grille. This is a very simple and effective mechanism but it limits grille pattern options to the most basic designs.

All of this talk about the mechanics of louver assembly operation may be overstating its importance to your choice of heat registers. How the louvers work is inconsequential if the register doesn’t fit the duct. Always measure the duct opening that you are covering and choose a register with inside measurements that match. For most applications, the register’s louver assembly operation is secondary at best and often is third to choosing a style and finish that complements other hardware and d├ęcor in the room.

For more information about choosing heat registers, see Vent Cover Tips at Shop 4 Classics.

No comments:

Post a Comment