What Are Air Diffusers?


Air diffusers are devices that serve as the endpoints for HVAC units. Diffusers circulate fresh air into rooms and are found in both residential and commercial buildings. Commonly referred to as air vents, diffusers come in several shapes and sizes and are often found in floors and ceilings. Diffusers are also sometimes referred to as registers, according to Atlantasupply.com. They can be made of metal or wood, though wood is less common and are usually found in the home.


  • Diffusers are commonly located in the ceilings of commercial buildings. Modern homes can have diffusers in the floor or the ceiling. In two-story houses, many homes have diffusers on the floor of the first floor and the ceiling of the second floor.


  • Residential air diffusers are more standardized than commercial diffusers. They are almost always rectangular in shape with venting across the top and a damper in the interior which can be closed to prevent air passage. These are often called registers.


  • Air diffusers in the workplace come in a variety of shapes and sizes including round, square and thin, rectangular models. Square diffusers are the most common and are designed to fit into framing for acoustical ceiling tiles. Diffusers are rarely attached to anything other than the insulated tubes that carry the air from the HVAC units.


  • Most residential diffusers, referred to as registers, feature a slide that allows the diffuser to block the dispersal of air into the room in which it is located. This is true for diffusers installed on residential ceilings as well. Commercial diffusers, however, are fixed in an open position with airflow being determined by the HVAC system.

Other Types

  • Air diffusers are not always located in ceilings and floors. In buildings with open ceilings, warehouses being one example, diffusers can be attached directly to the ductwork mounted near the interior side of the roof. Diffusers can also be found on the baseboards in homes. Baseboard air diffusers are installed beneath cabinetry, both in bathrooms and kitchens.

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