Is this safe?
August 26, 2017 10:42 AM   Subscribe

My husband wants to cap off a heating duct. Is this a reasonable way to handle the problem?

We are installing a pre-built vanity and countertop in our guest bathroom.
When we moved a rolling cart to make space for it, we rediscovered a floor register from our forced air heating system which will fall under the footprint of the new vanity.

We don't use the furnace in the winter. When we have guests, we put a small portable heater in there so they can be comfortable, and that seems to work fine.

Building a box and airing the hot air out under the vanity involves cutting a hole in the kick plate, finding the right sized register, carpentry, etc. Versus just screwing a metal plate down over it which is easy peasy.

We've already had a discussion about future utility and changing our minds about heating the bathroom some day in the future.

Is it safe? Is there a better, still easy, way to cap it off?
posted by SLC Mom to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can cap a vent but for best results cap it at the trunk. If you cap the vent you will lose some static pressure in the system and slightly lower your furnace's efficiency.
posted by Talez at 11:20 AM on August 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

Well, first you would find the right size vent cover and then you'd cut the hole in the toe kick. ;) A couple things: it's "safe" but not necessarily very efficient. If you keep the run but cap the end then you're just heating a duct run and not your house. But if you don't use the furnace then this isn't a problem I guess.

I'd worry a bit about an electric heater in a small, damp room for some safety issues but a good heater that is sized appropriately for the space is maybe not a problem.

Some people think a toe kick heat vent is pretty fancy stuff but it sounds like that doesn't really apply in your situation.
posted by amanda at 11:20 AM on August 26, 2017

It's fine. Heat is not going to build up. If you seal it, the duct won't heat up because air won't head down there.

Easier way is to get some plastic sheeting, pull the vent off, stuff the plastic in so it sticks out around, then gently put the vent cover on, and finally cut the excess plastic around it. Takes two minutes.
posted by flimflam at 2:22 PM on August 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I forgot: my method is trivially removable for future changes.
posted by flimflam at 2:23 PM on August 26, 2017

Is your bathroom ventilated well? Some hot dry air might be good to dry the bathroom out if it's not ventilated well.
posted by TheAdamist at 2:24 PM on August 26, 2017

I am reassured.
Thanks, everyone!
posted by SLC Mom at 12:25 AM on August 27, 2017

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