How to Replace a Heating Vent Cover

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Plastic Screw Anchors
Replacement Vent
Mounting Screws (typically included with the vent)

Replacing a heating vent cover is a simple project that you can do whether the cover is missing or just unattractive. A new vent cover can cover a hazardous hole in your floor and even enhance your decor. Vent covers are not typically expensive to replace, and there is a variety of decorative models available to match the style of your home. Before you install, take the time to clean out the vents. Follow the instructions below for easy installation.

Step 1 - Remove the Vent

Remove the existing vent (if present) by unscrewing any anchoring screws with your screwdriver. The vent should be able to be lifted out, but may need a little wiggling out if it is a particularly tight fit. A flathead screwdriver can pry up the vent if needed. Gloves are helpful, occasionally the edges of the vent can be sharp or have rough spots.

Step 2 - Measure for Size

Measure the opening in the floor or ceiling for the dimensions needed to replace the vent. You can also measure the dimensions of the bottom of the existing vent, the portion that actually fits inside the opening. Ensure that the replacement covers are of an appropriate size. If you are using decorative replacement covers, consider buying enough to install on all of the rest of the vents in the house.

Step 3 - Clean the Vent

Pick out any large items that you can see from the vent duct work. Use your vacuum to vacuum up any remaining dirt, dust and debris that you can see. Put the hose of the vacuum down as far as possible into the vent.

Step 4 - Insert Anchors

If needed, insert plastic anchors into existing holes for the screws for additional security when installing the new vent. If the screws for the new vent are much larger, you may want to pre-drill the holes for ease of installation.

Step 5 - Replace Vent

Install the new vent in the floor or ceiling register by inserting it into the vent space. Adjustments may need to be made to the duct work so that the vent sits completely into the hole and is flush with either the floor or ceiling. This can be done by bending the ductwork back into shape or widening the hole a bit to accommodate the new vent.