Can I put a sofa on top of an HVAC vent? - National Refrigeration Blog

Can I put a sofa on top of an HVAC vent?

Sofa on top of AC vent

Interior design and the HVAC industry share surprisingly common ground. Factors like furniture quantity, fabric, lighting, and window treatments impact a room’s aesthetic as well as its temperature and comfort levels. While style does matter, functionality is equally essential. So, when adding sizable furniture—like a beloved sofa—consider more than comfort. Placement matters. Do you enjoy basking in the sunlight? Place your couch near a window. If you want to take advantage of the coziness of your fireplace, shift your sofa nearer. But whatever you do, please think about your vents!

As interior design novices but HVAC professionals, we always consider the flow of air. Climate control for your home is an investment; precious dollars could easily be wasted by covering a vent. So, the question is, will placing a sofa on top of a vent impede airflow? We wouldn’t waste your time if it were a simple yes or no. If the question were, “Can I place a rug on top of a vent?” the answer would be “no” every time. But placing a sofa on top of a vent is more nuanced, so let’s dive into it.

Understanding HVAC Vents

When installed, your HVAC company will strategically place vents to distribute air throughout the home evenly. Modern thermostats gauge their readings on the knowledge of how many vents there are in each room. So, naturally, when vents are disrupted or blocked, your home’s temperature will be uneven and unpredictable.

It’s not just about comfort!

Blocking vents can cause your HVAC system to work harder in order to maintain the desired temperature, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills. Over time, the increased strain on your system, as it tries to compensate for the blocked vent, will have an increased likelihood of malfunctions and a reduced lifespan.

How much room is necessary for proper airflow?

You can place furniture around vents if there’s 6-12 inches of space for airflow. The more space you leave, the more effectively your system will operate. 


If your sofa is low to the ground, the obvious solution is to rearrange the layout of your furniture, but there are other options. Vent deflectors can sometimes be a way to redirect air. However, you’ll need to consult your HVAC technician to see if this is a viable solution for your space. You can also choose to raise your furniture to leave more room for air to pass beneath it.

With some creativity and consideration, you can strike the perfect balance between comfort, style, and functionality in your home layout!

If you’re looking for expert advice about your HVAC options in New England, contact the National Refrigeration team, and we’ll find the right solution for you.

Whether you need 24-7 emergency service or advice on improving your everyday air quality and comfort—at home and work—call us at 401-737-2000 or email us.


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