Cold air return vent covers for vintage homes
Cold air return covers are divided into two categories, with filter or without filter. If you have a filter located somewhere else in your HVAC system for example next to the furnace there is probably no need to have a filter integral to your air return. In that scenario you can not only consider the cold air returns in our air return category, but you can also take a look at our heat register category since most of the styles there will also work for you. That broadens your choices to additional styles with exceptional popularity.
A filtered return air grille is typically used when having a filter next to the furnace would be inconvenient to change. For example, maybe it is located under the house in a crawl space or in an attic where someone would have to crawl over fiberglass to change the filter.
Return air grille considerations in difficult floor areas
A typical craftsman home return air grille situation involves having a very large cold air return unit in the floor, often in a place where it gets stepped on a lot. Usually these are made of oak with square openings. These are often called eggcrate or grid style cold air return vents. Over the years they have usually been sanded when the floor was finished, consequently making them thinner and weaker. Furthermore, joinery was oftentimes unsatisfactory. These are usually in miserable shape and badly broken. In modern times these large cold air returns are usually located on the wall or ceiling so they don't get stepped on and broken. There are cast metal return air grille units that will work well in situation, but they can be costly. Perhaps the best choice, if one wishes to maintain the historic look, is an eggcrate register with a welded steel support structure underneath. These are typically more cost effective and maintain an excellent historic look.
Cold air return covers at the baseboard location
Return air grilles located between the baseboards can be particularly problematic. Occasionally the original cold air return disappeared and was replaced by something abominable. It is very common to have portions of the floor cut out and so the cold air return vent cover needs to cover up the cutout and so it must be sloping. Furthermore, the unit must be precisely the correct width to fit exactly in between the baseboards. That would seem hopeless, but we actually make those units in twenty-six different faceplate designs to your custom dimensions, and they are actually pretty cost effective. You'll need to call us to discuss because this can be complex to configure.