Do you have small children in your home? If so, you might have already discovered that babies, toddlers, and preschoolers love floor vents. Their world is down on the ground, so it’s natural that these HVAC features capture their attention…and their toys.
Unfortunately, there are several risks associated with young kids playing with registers. It can be hard, though, to get kids to leave them alone. If you’ve been pulling your hair out over this, here are some tips on how to childproof your HVAC’s floor vents.
Why It’s Important to Childproof Floor Vents
If your child never notices the heating and cooling vents on your floor, consider yourself lucky. Once they do, they might go through a spell where they can’t get enough of them. When your favorite pen, wedding ring, or keys go missing, you might want to check the floor vents.
While it might be a little funny the first time around, it can quickly lose its humor. First of all, tiny fingers might slip seamlessly into the openings, but pulling them out can be problematic. Not only can they become stuck, but children can sustain deep cuts from poking around floor vents.
Additionally, you can lose important items in the air ducts, which can also sustain damage depending on what’s being dropped into them. In both cases, you may need to call on a professional for help, which is like throwing money down your vents, too! This is definitely one situation where being proactive can save you in the long run.
Secure Your Registers
One effective approach is to secure your registers in place. Although it might take a little handiwork on your part, if it can stop little hands from lifting the registers, it will be worth the hassle. To keep floor vents in place, nail or screw them right into the floor. This is easily accomplished with wooden vents, but if they are metal, you’ll probably need to purchase new ones.
Another option is to use velcro or double-sided tape. This won’t be as effective as nailing down your vents, but you’ll prevent damage to your floors — and hopefully slow down curious kids in enough time to (hopefully!) stop them from doing too much damage.
When you can’t (or don’t want to) secure your floor vents in place, there is something else you can do to keep toys and other objects out of the ducts. Screens or filters can help block the opening to prevent children from dropping things into your ductwork.
From the hardware store, pick up some vinyl screening and cut it to fit the duct. Next, you’ll want to secure it to the underside of your vent cover. Air will still be able to pass through, but you’ll have an added barrier for kids to work around. If you find that your little ones are still lifting the vent covers, you can try covering the ductwork hole with screening. Either way, this is a good option to ensure toys, valuables, or other damaging items don’t get into the ducts.
Buy Plastic Vent Covers
Whether you secure the register in place or install a screen, you’ll still have one glaring problem for little fingers. Metal vent covers can be sharp, which can lead to significant cuts in a matter of seconds. Very young children won’t understand the danger, and probably won’t listen to warnings.
Replacing metal vent covers with plastic ones helps to reduce the risk of injury. You can find these in hardware stores and even online in a variety of styles and finishes to match the decor of your home while providing a safer environment for your kids.
Call on the Professionals
Keeping your home comfortable and safe is our number one priority. Not only will we help keep your HVAC system running optimally, but we’re here to provide guidance too. We know that many kids are fascinated by floor vents. Believe us, we’ve heard it all! We also know that you want to protect both your valuable equipment and your precious family.
If you’re worried about your young children playing with your home’s registers, give us a call. We can help walk you through these childproofing options and others. Got something stuck in an air duct? Hoping to find those missing earrings? We can help with that, too! Don’t forget, we offer a free consultation with our NATE-certified technicians. Give W.G. Speeks a call today!