Do Magnetic Vent Covers Work?

You’ve probably heard a lot about vent covers, and for a good reason. A vent cover sits over the air duct terminal and helps direct air where it’s needed inside the house. This ensures maximum indoor comfort while keeping energy consumption down. But, of course, the covers also protect the ducts. 

But today, we want to focus on magnetic vent covers. What are they, how do they work, and how do you install a magnetic vent cover? More importantly, are they reliable? 

Yes, magnetic vents work. Decorative and basic vent covers, though okay, often don’t close completely, allowing some air to escape. Magnetic vents create a better seal over the front of your ducts, preventing the air loss issue. 

What are Magnetic Vent Covers?

Magnetic vent covers are exactly what the name says – vent covers with magnetic potential. The covers typically have a magnetic lining that allows the cover to stick to metal air vent grilles or registers without further assistance. 

This is different from standard vent covers that typically require screws or latches to hold down. 

What is the Purpose of Magnetic Vent Covers?

Magnetic vent covers have the same purpose as other air vent covers – restricting or blocking airflow. 

Many people seasonally block selected air vents in their homes to redirect airflow or save energy. For instance, you may want to block lower return vents during the summer to prevent the denser cold air from escaping the room. Similarly, you can block upper return vents in winter to avoid losing warm rising air. 

An air vent cover can be vital in such circumstances. The cover sits over the selected vent grille, blocking air from entering the return air ducts. 

Magnetic vent covers are not different. They sit above the vent grille to block airflow into or out of the ductwork, thus allowing you to direct the cold or warm air where you need it most. 

Is it Okay to Cover Air Vents? 

The short answer is no. You should not cover your vents as blocking airflow is bad for indoor air quality, your health, and even the air conditioner’s health. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should always leave your air vents open, as open vents may provide escape routes for conditioned air. This can result in wasted energy and high energy bills. 

So, the best strategy is to keep the right vents open and close the ones that may lead to energy losses and compromise indoor comfort. This applies to both return air vents and supply vents. 

What Happens if You Block Return Vents? 

The consequences of blocking return air vents depend on the season (time of year) and the location of the vents.

Generally, blocking return air vents in the summer has the following consequences;

1. Restrict Airflow

Air conditioners merely cycle indoor air. Hot, stale indoor air enters the return vents, gets cooled, then return to the room as cold air via the supply vents.

Now, imagine that the return vents are closed! How would hot indoor airflow back into the air conditioner for cooling? And if there’s no return air, where will the supply air come from?

2. Air Pressure Imbalance

Blocking airflow also directly impacts air pressure inside the home. You’ll likely experience increased static pressure in some regions or rooms and reduced pressure in others.

Indoor pressure imbalance manifests through doors that close automatically, whizzing noises, and the feeling of loss of balance. Beware that pressure imbalance in the air ducts can damage the ducts, necessitating expensive replacements. 

3. Fire Hazard

Finally, a few reports also indicate that closing return air vents during the summer create an unnecessary fire risk. The friction within the air conditioner produces heat that can lead to fires.

The constant airflow usually blows away the heat, reducing the risk. So, closing the vents increases the chances of a fire. Of course, there’s a very small chance of a fire. However, you don’t want to take the risk, do you?

So, Do Vent Covers Make a Difference? 

Yes, vent covers make a big difference. The following are three ways a vent cover can help during the summer. 

1. Direct Air Where it’s Needed

The main job of a vent cover is to block air in one section of the home and thereby redirect it where it’s needed most.

For instance, lower return vents can become escape routes for the much-needed cold indoor air. So, you can use a vent cover to block the lower return vents to stop the loss of conditioned air. 

2. Prevent Debris from Entering the Vent

A vent cover prevents dist and debris from entering and building up inside the vent. Unfortunately, dirt buildup inside air vents often leads to vent or duct blockage, leading to air conditioner malfunction.

For instance, the accumulated pet dander, human hairs, and duct can block airflow into the air conditioner, increasing the risk of freezing or overheating. 

3. No more Dropping Items into the Vent

How many times have you lost coins and jewelry that dropped into the vent? How often do the little kids get their fingers stuck and pets their paws trapped in the vents? It happens a lot.

A vent cover seals the vent (at least temporarily), so you don’t have to deal with similar problems anymore. 

Types of Vent Covers

Vent covers come in three main types: basic, decorative, and magnetic, depending on your needs. 

1. Basic Vent Covers

Basic vent covers are the type of covers you see in many homes and apartments. They are functional metal grates that sit over the vent to redirect air away from the vent and into the room.

Unfortunately, many of them are an eyesore. However, most people now paint their basic vent covers to match the floor for increased appeal. 

2. Decorative Vent Covers

Decorative covers are more about aesthetics. They’re rarely used alone. Instead, you’ll often find the covers laid over basic or magnetic covers.

The function of the decorative vent cover is to make the vent region more appealing and blend it into the rest of the room. So, they’re an excellent choice if you already have basic covers. 

3. Magnetic Vent Covers

Finally, magnetic vent covers are light vent covers with a magnetic strip that allows them to stick to the vent opening without screws or clasps.

So, the main difference between them and basic covers is that magnetic covers use magnetic force to stick onto the vent, while standard covers typically require screwing or clasping.

Magnetic vent covers are often decorated to blend into your decor. However, you can also use them alongside decorative covers. 

How Vent Cover Works 

Vent covers are typically plastic parts placed over an existing HVAC vent to temporarily block airflow in one direction and redirect it in another direction. The most commonly used plastics are polypropylene and polystyrene. The first one is more resistant to impacts, while the second one is more resistant. 

However, other covers are made from metal and others even from wood. The latter isn’t very popular because of higher maintenance requirements and durability limitations. However, metal covers are fairly common among homeowners looking for a more long-term solution. 

Whichever the material, a vent cover goes over an HVAC air vent. Many models are screwed onto the existing vent grille, while others feature clasps, so you don’t have to drill into the vent grille. Alternatively, you can opt for magnetic grilles that “sick on” without screws or clasps. 

Once installed the vent cover shields the vent and duct lines behind the vent from solid particles that often cause blockage. It also allows homeowners to stop heat loss by redirecting airflow to other room areas.

Do Magnetic Vent Covers Work? 

Yes, magnetic vents work. Decorative and basic vent covers, though okay, often don’t close completely, allowing some air to escape. Magnetic vents create a better seal over the front of your ducts, preventing the air loss issue. 

Yes, magnetic vent covers work excellently. But, first, like any other type of vent cover, magnetic vent covers “seal” the targeted vent, allowing you to redirect conditioned air where you need it most. 

More importantly, magnetic vents guarantee a tighter seal than standard vent covers. A very tight seal reduces the chances of losing conditioned air through gaps around the vent cover. The result is increased indoor comfort at reduced energy costs. 

Magnetic vent covers are also far easier to install than standard covers and decorative covers as they automatically switch onto the existing vent without screwing or clasps. 

Installing Magnetic Vent Covers

Installing magnetic vent covers is very easy. The following is a step-by-step guide, assuming you have the correct covers. 

  1. Remove the old vent cover: Typically, you’ll need a screwdriver to release the cover from the vent. You may also need a ladder if the vent is located higher up. Watch out for falling debris. 
  2. Make sure you have the right-size cover: Measure the vent size and compare the figures with the dimensions of your magnetic cover. You don’t want a vent cover too small or too big for the existing vent.
  3. Install the new cover: Magnetic vents are very simple to install. Unpack it and place it over the vent space, ensuring that the dimensions match the vent area. The magnetic force firmly holds the cover over the vent without additional support. 

Remember that you can also install magnetic covers over other vents, especially basic vents. The choice is yours.

Best Magnetic Vent Covers 

If you’re prepared to take the next step and install magnetic covers over your vents to direct airflow, the following are the top three HVAC vent covers to consider. 

Home-X Magnetic Vent Cover

HOME-X Magnetic Vent Cover, Adjustable Magnetic...
  • MAGNETIC VENT COVER: Trying to keep airflow efficient? These magnetic vent covers are a great way to prevent air leakages and direct air to where you want it. The magnet sheets can be used to seal a register on the floor or wall. With your purchase, you'll receive a set of 3 sheets to cover multiple vents.
  • CUSTOM AIR BLOCKER: Our magnetic sheets measure 15" L x 8" W, and you can cut them to fit any size you need. The magnets are just 1 mm thick, so you can easily cut them with a pair of household scissors. Whether you are trying to control heating or cooling, these sheets can help.
  • FOR STEEL REGISTERS: The duct covers are magnetic, they work with steel floor or wall registers only. They should not be used on return air grilles. Additionally, they will not work with aluminum, painted, wood, or plastic registers in your house. Just place the magnet over a closed vent to take control of your home's ventilation.
  • COMFORTABLE TEMPERATURE: Some vents might make a room too hot or too cold, depending on the season. Direct air from your heater or air conditioner into the spaces you want ventilation with these magnetic covers. Place them in the bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom, or anywhere else in the house that needs more efficient air flow.
  • EASY TO INSTALL: To get the best seal on your vents, you should place the magnet over the surface of your vent. Make sure that the magnet sticks to the perimeter of the vent. Because many vents have a small knob or lever, you may need to cut a small slit in the cover to accommodate it.

The Home-X magnetic vent cover is a package consisting of three 15×8-inch magnetic sheets that you can use to seal registers on the floor or wall. They are customizable. So, you can cut them to fit your needs. 

The one-millimeter-thick magnetic vent covers are only for use on return air registers. Even if the existing grilles are painted, they can be placed over metal, plastic, and wooden registers. They are very easy to install. 

Accord AMAGCOV815 Magnetic Vent Cover

Accord AMAGCOV815 Magnetic Vent Cover, 8-Inch x...
  • Works with ceiling and wall registers; Not for use on return air grilles
  • Sticks to steel registers only; Not for use on aluminum, painted, plastic or wood registers
  • For optimal contact with entire surface, trimming around the thumb mechanism or lever is recommended, Cuts easily with scissors for a custom fit
  • Register face plate not to exceed 14" X 6"
  • Must cover the entire surface of the register face plate to adhere properly
  • For optimal contact with entire surface, trimming around the thumb mechanism or lever is recommended

The Accord AMAGCOV815 Magnetic Vent is another excellent choice when shopping for a magnetic vent cover. It’s also a 15×8-inch vent cover that’s mm thick. You get three magnetic sheets per package. 

It’s a very affordable package priced at under $15 and cuts easily for custom fitting. It only works on ceiling and return registers, though. 

Muscle MagVent Magnetic Vent Cover

Sale
Strongest Available Magnetic Vent Cover 5.5" x 12"...
  • ✅CRAZY STRONG: What’s the point having a magnetic vent cover if it falls off every two seconds? Whether its weak magnets or rigid contours, or whether you have painted vents - some covers just don’t want to stick around. But Muscle MagVent Vent Blockers bring the Magnetic Muscle on all ceiling, wall, and floor vents.
  • ✅WHAT’S IN THE PACK? This is a set of 3 magnetic vent covers for ceiling vents, walls and floors. Each AC Vent Cover Sheet is 5.5 x 12” and can be easily cut to fit your vent. No need to fuss with pre-sized covers that may not even fit, because Muscle MagVent adapts to MANY vents!
  • ✅WHY MORE MAGNETIC? Muscle MagVent Register Covers have more magnetism per square inch! We use a higher percentage of Ferrite in our rubber making, and then we make each sheet 2mm thick! Higher magnetic percentage and a thicker sheet means optimized stickability to any of your vents.
  • ✅GOT PAINTED VENTS? Many magnetic register vent covers don’t stick to paint. But Muscle MagVent sticks like a dream! So you can control air flow, direct specific heating or cooling to where you want, make use of unused rooms and upregulate air in just one room without worrying about painted vents.
  • ✅USA-BASED: Muscle MagVent is designed in the USA and made for metal vents, NOT aluminum! So please check first. And if you need different sizes, please check out our variations – there's a few different choices. Comes with a 3 Month Replace or Return Offer so you can try Muscle MagVent risk free.

Finally, the Muscle MagVent vent cover is a 12×5.5-inch magnetic vent cover, smaller than the first two. However, you get three covers in the package, each one millimeter thick. 

What stands out about this vent cover is that it’s one of the strongest-sticking covers. The manufacturer uses more ferrite in the rubber, giving the covers a stronger stacking strength. 

FAQs 

Can I Put Furniture Over a Floor Vent?

No, you should never put furniture over a floor vent. Vents require sufficient clearance to ensure maximum indoor airflow and efficient heating and cooling. Unfortunately, putting furniture over the vent opening impedes airflow, forcing the air conditioner to work harder and consume more energy. 

Can you Cover a Vent with Duct Tape?

Yes, you can cover a vent with duct tape without damaging the vent. It’s not too different from blocking the vent with vent covers. However, make sure you have enough duct tape to go around the edge of each vent hole one time. More importantly, remember that blocking air vents isn’t always good. 

Can you Put Plastic Over Vents?

Yes, you can put plastic vent covers over existing vents. For instance, you can use plastic vent covers to redirect airflow to poorly served rooms. Or you can block the vents to prevent the loss of conditioned air. The main alternatives to plastic vent covers are metallic covers and wooden covers. 

Can you Move Floor Vents to the Ceiling? 

Yes, you can relocate floor vents to the ceiling and vice versa. It’s not a very straightforward process because you may need to relocate the ductwork. However, floor and ceiling vents work pretty much the same way. So, it shouldn’t be too big a job either. 

Summary

Magnetic vent covers work. Although it’s not always good to close your vents, you can use them to redirect airflow for more even cooling and heating.

The vents can also prove valuable in preventing the loss of conditioned air through vents. And they’re cheap too. So feel free to grab one today.