How to Relocate a Floor Vent

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Floor vents are commonly used in residential heating to supply heat from a furnace unit or heat pump. If you plan to remodel your existing living space, you may need to relocate a floor vent to enhance heating efficiency or accommodate a wall or other new element. Relocating a floor vent involves installing additional duct work to extend to the new vent location. Although this can be a time-consuming project, you can complete a floor vent relocation with basic supplies and tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Hand drill
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Tin snips
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Heating duct
  • Duct collars
  • Inspect the area where you want to place the vent to ensure that you will not need to move wiring, cables or other obstructions. Shut off the power supply to the furnace.

  • Remove the existing floor vent from the floor. Measure the width and length of the bottom of the vent with a measuring tape to determine the size of the hole you need to cut in the floor for the new vent location. Check to ensure that the new vent location does not cross a floor joist. Mark these measurements on the floor, using a ruler as a guide, to create an outline of the cut.

  • Drill a 3/8-inch hole at one corner of the outline with a hand drill. Insert the blade of a reciprocating saw into the hole and cut the floor along the outline. Insert the vent into the hole so that the lip of the vent supports the vent on the floor.

  • Cut a straight line along the duct with tin snips near the old vent location. Unscrew the top of the duct from the underside of the floor with an electric screwdriver. Place the top section of the duct in the new location and reinstall it by driving galvanized screws through the holes into the underside of the floor.

  • Measure the gap between the duct sections. Cut a new duct section to fit this length with tin snips. Place a duct collar on each end of the new section and fit it in the gap to connect the vent in its new location.

  • Drill through the holes in the duct collars into the duct sections. Insert and tighten galvanized screws through the holes to secure the sections.

  • Turn on the furnace power supply and check to ensure that air flows through the duct and vent correctly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear thick work gloves and protective goggles when cutting the floor vent hole and duct sections to reduce injury risks.
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