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Where to find THIS type of heating vent.

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  • Where to find THIS type of heating vent.

    Hello All.

    We're still working on recovering from a past house fire and, right now, are dealing with two rooms. Between two rooms there is a damaged heating which would, alternately, service heat to the two adjoining rooms. What I mean by 'alternate' is that there was some kind of 'plate' running vertical through that 9"x12" opening, which could be moved (angularly) to one side, or the other, thereby heating up whichever room it was angled towards. Whatever that plate was it is gone, now. My local searches have provided nothing, and I really need to get this done before the really cold weather sets in (I live in Amherst NY). If anyone knows where I might be able to get a replacement, please inform. And, also, share with me what this type of heating vent might be called.

    Advanced thanks,
    Nathan
    ~Blessings~

    Nathan

  • #2
    Hello again Nathan,

    If I'm correct in my thinking and experience, that "register plate" was fairly common way back when. Basically it was metal plated with several square holes in it for the forced air to pass through. At the back was a plate which acted as a baffle which was hinged at the top, with a thumb paddle that protruded through the front grate and allowed the occupant to push down to push the plate over the the heating duct and pull up to close the baffle. If you had this type of register on the other side of the wall, it was obvious that you couldn't open one all the way without pushing the other closed, thus stifling the ability to heat both rooms fully. Dumb idea I think.

    Anyway, I have this old 1887-built house and in the upstairs I had these in every room. Two rooms were exactly as you describe, back to back. I took them out and put in regular wall registers, which you should be able to buy at any heating store... just they don't have the large "paddle" plates, but rather more modern louvers. You just buy the size that you need to cover the opening.

    In my upstairs library, I have two wall registers (it's a fairly large room) and both share the air ducts with other room. One with the bathroom and the second with what is now my wife's "cookbook" room. In our house, it's necessary (and preferred) to heat/cool all rooms equally, so I don't want the registers to restrict the air flow. In one of the library air registers I couldn't find the right size, so I made my own with the router, cutting intersecting grooves on both sides of the board. It's just pine, and I was concerned that over a year or two, the heated air flow with cause it to crack, but that hasn't happened and it works well.

    I think I've long ago thrown out those old baffle plates. I still have two, one in each of the upstairs bedrooms. If you'd like, I'll take a picture to post to see if my description matches what you are thinking.

    CWS

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    • #3
      CWSmith,

      Your first-paragraph description was right on point. You'd described EXACTLY what we have going on with that register. Like yourself, I had NO understanding WHY someone would implement such a senseless way of heat control, there. As you said, one room could benefit from heat, at the expense of the other room losing same. I didn't think about regular wall registers, but I will most certainly check into them, tomorrow. I don't know just what would be entailed in making such a conversion, but I will have a better understanding once I get to the Heating/Cooling outlet, and see (physically) what I would be working with.

      Thank you,
      Nathan
      ~Blessings~

      Nathan

      Comment


      • #4
        Nathan,

        Here are some pictures I took this morning which hopefully will help.

        The first is of one of the old registers, that I still have in two of the upstairs bedrooms. The second is of the grate that I made in the library. The library is the largest room on the second floor and was the master bedroom of the previous owner and off the back corner of it was a second smaller room that the woman used as her clothes closet (even though there were windows large windows covering two of the walls). As my wife said, who needs a bedroom or a closet that large! So, we turned the big room into a library and the smaller room into her 'cookbook' room.

        The challenge with the library was that I had two of these wall registers, one that is shared with the bathroom through a closet area off the library and second that was back-to-back with the cookbook room; vital wall space where I needed to build book shelves. So, the one with the homemade grate just required an extension though the bookcase and I thought it was a nice match. The second was right next to the doorway into the cookbook room and I just sealed that off and built the bookcase over it. On the cookbook side, where the wall is about 29 inches, I made a duct extension that slightly diverted the air into the room where I installed a more modern register at the bottom of the book case. Actually both the library and the cookbook room are now better served by the air flow.

        Don't forget that you'll need to check the opening between the studs above the wall opening. Obviously if its on the first floor, the duct may be continuing to the second floor. But if the duct is on the second floor, and that is not blocked off to check the air flow, then the heat will just rise between the studs and go up into the wall. Blocking that off at the top of the wall opening (if it isn't already) will divert the airflow out of the wall at the opening and into the room as it should be. (Unless it is also heating the attic.)

        Hope this helps,

        CWS
        Attached Files
        Last edited by CWSmith; 09-18-2020, 07:49 PM. Reason: See italics which I added. My first statement made the assumption that the opening was on the second floor.

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        • #5
          If you are re-building - why not design it so that both rooms get heat and install registers that can be closed off in each room if needed rather than the type of diverter arrangement described? Unless there is a reason for staying with the old style design.

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