Do Vent Boosters Work?


Temperature consistency throughout the home is an important factor to consider for a comfortable life. Uneven temperature indicates airflow problems that needed to be addressed.

But do vent boosters work to addresses these airflow issues? Consistent temperature in a home is maintained through your heating, ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC) system. But when airflow is uneven across the home, then yes, then an inline or register vent booster helps to address this issue and increase the performance of HVAC system to even the airflow out.


When the HVAC Alone Isn’t Enough

HVAC system should maintain consistent temperature in whole home regardless of distance.

But sometimes system inability due to different reasons result in uneven temperature in different rooms. 

A vent booster has the capacity to move the air to the desired place in short time and to locally increase airflow.

Sometimes the HVAC system alone seems to not work efficiently in rooms that are further away, creating an uneven airflow across the home. In that case, vent booster provides a reliable solution for it.

Vent boosters do work if other issues with the HVAC are addressed. They are cheap and easy to install as compared to overhauling the entire HVAC system. HVAC systems are prone to failure due to different reasons.

Sometimes clogged filters block the airflow, sometimes vent ducts are too long and complex for the blower to reach. Duct leakage could also be a reason for HVAC failure as well. If you have an HVAC system installed that doesn’t work quite as well as it used, you should consider to install vent boosters to get even climate control.

Vent boosters are mainly of two types.

Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. But both are cheap alternative as compared to installation of new HVAC system or overhauling of exiting one to address issue to air flow and uneven climate control.


Inline Vent Booster

This is also known as a mid-duct booster. This type of booster is installed near the vent for the rooms that are furthest from the HVAC system. They pull the air from the entire ductwork and try to distribute it across the ducts. Their installation requires proper adjustment in vent duct to fit in.

Inline boosters are very handy in large buildings that cater to longer distances of ductwork (large spaces). Installation of inline vent boosters at key points helps to move the air that is furthest and will maintain an even temperature throughout the space.

Before purchasing an inline vent booster, you first need to check the size of your duct, because misfitting of duct and inline booster will create the issue of leakage of air and it will decrease the air pressure. This mistake will end up being counterproductive when you think the purpose is to increase airflow, not decrease it.

Another bonus is that Inline vent boosters are less noisy as compared to register vent booster.



Register Vent Booster

This type of booster is installed at the vent of a specific room. A register vent booster develops a pressure differential that forces the air to be expelled out at high speed.  It also has its own thermostat and speed adjustment and can be controlled via a remote. 

A register fan vent booster is helpful to address uneven climate control issues in old houses because such houses don’t accommodate modern HVAC systems. So, register vent boosters are cheap and reliable solution for them. But they also have issues like noise and are prone to breaking.


Which is Better – an Inline or Register Vent Booster?

Both boosters do the same thing but through different methods. It all depends on the system and circumstances at play to decide which is better.

Commercial buildings mostly require multiple vent boosters because one blower is not enough for it. So, experts recommend inline vent boosters for them. 

A register vent booster is good for smaller facilities and homes. It will increase the inflow of air without upgrading the whole HVAC. It is also a cheap solution for old houses and facilities that face uneven distribution of air throughout.

There is another type of vent booster that is used in bathroom fans and range hoods. It is called duct fan booster. It is used for slight boost and available in 12-inch variant with 800 CFM air throw power. It consumes very low energy and as compared to other vent boosters.

Recommended reading: How much electricity does an inline fan use?


Fix Your HVAC Before Adding Vent Boosters

Vent boosters do increase the flow of air but there may be other underlying HVAC problems that must be addressed first before even considering installing a vent booster. Otherwise, you may not be getting the most benefits out of adding one.


Air Filters

Air filters should be replaced every three months for proper functioning of HVAC system. Along with that regular cleaning and service of air filters is required every month to avoid clogged filters that resist the air flow. It is recommended to keep at least one spare filter to avoid such blockage issues.


Ducts Leakage

Ducts have joints that may break and create issues of leakage. Leakage issues further increase the billing. It will decrease the overall pressure of the HVAC system. It requires proper maintenance every season otherwise it will create issues of air flow. Insulation of duct is also worth it. Experts estimate that non-insulated ducts cause 10% to 30% loss of energy.


Air Duct Cleaning

Duct blockage due to different reasons like birds to build their nest in such cold place in hot season that will block the air flows in future. It requires cleaning once a year for proper flow of air and cooling. Regular vacuuming is recommended to avoid duct blockage.

Recommended reading: Does Duct Cleaning Improve Air Quality?


Blocked Air Vents

Similarly, air vents also require regular cleaning and it must be done on time otherwise it will create other issues such as blockage of duct and duct leakage. 


HVAC System Failure

HVAC system failure could be the major issue of uneven climate control. It requires regular mechanical checkup that will also increase asset life and decrease the asset depreciation. 


Related Questions

What does a vent booster do?

Vent boosters are devices that work on fan mechanism to increase the flow of the air in HVAC system. It helps to maintain the even temperature for all the rooms especially furthest ones that are out of reach of blowers’ throw power.


Where should a vent booster to be placed?

It is recommended to contact a professional HVAC technician first to check whether inline vent booster is good for your HVAC system or register booster. Inline booster is installed mid-way the duct and register booster is installed at the desired point like in a room out duct point.