Custom Metal Products of Distinction Since 1909

What to Consider When Choosing Your Air Flow

Posted Fri, February 22, 2019

You’re evaluating the grille type and design you want to use from Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft’s extensive line to fit the architectural style in your home or other building, but before you make the leap, you need to consider proper air flow for optimum comfort. How will your grille decision factor into the air flow equation?

What is air flow?

Air flow in the HVAC – heating, ventilation, air conditioning – world is the process of delivering conditioned air to rooms and then removing it from those rooms so it can be returned for re-conditioning. This process is accomplished through HVAC duct work. In a duct, air flows from a higher pressure to a lower pressure. A fan creates the higher pressure while the open end of the duct has a lower pressure, causing the air to flow out.

After conditioned air flows into a room, an equal amount of air must be removed. This return air is transported back to the central air system for reprocessing.  But, not all of the return air can be reused. Otherwise, the air would become stale. To avoid this, fresh air is ventilated into the system through an outside air intake.

The air flow percentage is the percent of air that the metal grille lets into (and out of) the room throughout the air flow cycle.

What you need to know when selecting air flow percentages

First, of course, you need to select the HVAC system itself. You need to make sure that the system is suited to the space to which it is supplying heating and cooling. Make sure the HVAC system ducts are free of leaks and that all the air is flowing into the proper spaces. To get the proper performance from the system, the air flow must be correct. Otherwise, the system performance and longevity will be adversely affected. When airflow is not good, it’s difficult to properly charge refrigerant or set up a gas furnace.

Comfort and safety are primary concerns of proper air flow. Air flow is what provides the proper heating or cooling to a room. When room air flow is low, it’s certain the room will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It also can affect the amount of humidity in a room, making it sticky in the summer and dry in the winter. The key safety concern addressed by proper air flow is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. Air flow imbalances can cause flue gases containing carbon monoxide to spill into rooms.

After ensuring the integrity of the HVAC system, you will want to consider positioning of your HVAC grilles. We create HVAC grilles for all heating and air conditioning systems, and we can customize to your specifications. You can rely on getting the utmost in quality, variety, aesthetics and functionality.  We provide the best priced options to engineers, woodworkers, contractors, HVAC companies and homeowners. Whether you need a curved wall matched, a mitered corner or a special finish, we can exceed your expectations while ensuring that the grille you select provides proper air flow.

As opposed to a shutter-style linear bar grille, a perforated grille is typically not adjustable. It is cut in a specific pattern and allows air to flow freely. To ensure proper air flow, you’ll want to take into account the free area not covered by the metal pattern. For perforated patterns with small vent holes, you will want more free area. This will allow more air to be pushed through the grille. The opposite applies for large vent holes. The perforation of our customized metal grilles are constructed to properly balance your HVAC system. Upon request, we can do cubic feet per minute (CFM) calculations in order to determine the best free-area percentage to use for the optimal grille size.

Are you ready to get the optimal metal grille to provide the best air flow and quality to your space? Be sure to check our product catalog for a full, detailed list of our products. For a consultation or to order your grilles, contact us at 631.482.9449 or

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