What are Air Grilles?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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Most modern homes use central air conditioning as the primary method to cool the building. These systems use a vast array of air ducts, which evenly distribute cooled air throughout the building. Air grilles are the vent covers on top of the air ducts. The vents have a grille design, which is intended to keep large objects from entering the air duct system.

A standard air grille is a flat metal vent attached to a wall or floor of a building. This grille protects the air ducts of the ventilation system from rodents and objects. Most air grilles are made from a lightweight metal material and are typically painted white.

There are many designs for air grilles. These include brass, ceramic, wood, and painted metal. The air ducts typically are set on the floor or ceiling of a room. They are best installed with a design that matches the floor or ceiling area, which makes them more presentable.

Grilles can be customized to the homeowner’s preference depending on the appearance he wants in his home. Wrought iron intake grilles are an example of an antique look. These are typically available in either black or dark brass. These are generally more expensive than normal grilles because they are made from heavy iron material.


Air grilles include small vent switches that enable the grille to be open or closed. The switch is used to shut of the air flow into room or area of a building. This is a good feature to use when an extra room is not used in a home. By closing the vent switch, the room will not be cooled unnecessarily, which can save money.

A central air conditioning system uses both input and output vents. The input vent is known as the fresh-air intake register. It is responsible for pulling in the warmer air of a home and cooling it with cold air system. The fresh-air intake uses larger air grilles because it must pull in large volumes of air throughout the home.

The fresh-air intake system uses a special air filter that sits behind the air grilles. This filter should match the size of the air grille to ensure it can fit level with the floor or wall enclosure. The filter is used as a protection device for the air conditioning system, removing dust and particles from the air before it is processed.


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