Brevard County HVAC Experts
Return vent

What Is the AC Return Vent For?

Many homeowners don’t know how their AC system works, and that’s okay! Knowledge is power, and Weather Engineers is here to educate.

AC return vent What is a Return Vent?

Return air vents are an important part of your air conditioning system. Your air vents maintain your home’s air pressure and filter out debris. Cleaning and maintaining your return vents can also save you money on energy costs and expenses.

How Do I Clean My AC Return Vent?

Cleaning out the return vent on your air conditioner is fairly straightforward, and can be done by yourself with a few household items:

  • Vacuum (ideally a hand vacuum)
  • A dry cloth or rag
  • A wet cloth or rag
  • Cleaner (either store-bought or DIY)

Easy DIY Dusting Spray to Clean Out Your AC Return Vent (and the Rest of Your Home)

This spray is safe to use on any surface.


  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dr. Bronner’s soap
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 10-20 drops essential oil (if you want your spray to have a scent)


  • Measure out your water, soap, and vinegar then mix it in a large spray bottle.
  • Add the olive oil and if you want, essential oil for a fresh scent.

Close the cap of the spray bottle, shake it and you’re ready to dust every area of your home. Shake bottle before each use because oil and water don’t mix. Use a soft cotton cloth and dust away!

Why is the Air Conditioner Return Vent Important?

If your return air vents are not working properly, your entire HVAC system can suffer. Blocked air vents can disrupt airflow which can cause your system to run inefficiently. Not only can this negatively affect the comfort of your home, but it can cause a drastic rise in energy costs.

  • Maintains Air Circulation: Your HVAC system is essentially a recirculating pump that heats and cools air and pumps it into your home. As air conditioned air goes into your house, the air that is already in your home needs a place to escape. Return air vents help pull in the air and put it back into your AC system. This action maintains proper air pressure in your home.
  • Removes Dust and Debris From Home: As air circulates in your home, it collects dust and debris. These air particles can harm your HVAC system and decrease your indoor air quality. Return air vents are often equipped with a changeable air filter. This filter should be changed or cleaned on a regular basis. We recommend changing your air filter once a month or at a minimum every three months depending on how dirty it is and if you have pets.
  • Saves Money on Energy Bills: HVAC systems must be properly sealed to work at peak efficiency and so no air can leak out. The return air vent is vital to saving money on energy costs. The return air vent takes already circulated air that is near the desired temperature and pushes it back through the system. The system capitalizes on the already heated or cooled air. Your AC doesn’t have to waste energy by reheating or recooling the air. A malfunctioning AC system may misuse energy.

Schedule Your Next AC Service Today

If you have abnormally high heating or cooling costs, you may want to check into repairing or replacing your AC system. At the very least, it’s important to keep up to date with regular maintenance service to keep your AC running well and for as long as possible. Call Weather Engineers at (321) 727-2542 today for all of your AC needs!