Add A Touch Of Style With A Custom Register

Written by Posted On Sunday, 13 March 2005 16:00

You never see them in architectural magazines. Heating registers are typically always banned from the shot. In fact, registers are an eyesore for most homeowners, but now some people are actually drawing attention to their heat registers with custom cover.

"People spend a lot of money building their houses and they don't want to put on something that's a standard grill off the shelf; they want something that's custom," says David Dekoning, owner of Urban Registers.

Dekoning is a mechanical contractor who installs heat and air conditioning systems. A couple of years ago he got the idea to create antique-style heat register covers when several clients complained about their standard register grills.

What's popular in register looks?

"Anything that looks like it's from the past," says Dekoning.

But decorative registers are more for looks than function.

"We have dampers that we can put behind the grill that would cut down on the air if people need to do that," explains Dekoning.

Standard register grills also typically have a way to make the air flow in a particular direction. Dekoning says with his custom covers he can handle that too.

"If somebody needs to change the air direction, we can put a directional louver behind my grill to make it direct the air."

His custom registers range from $30 to $70 and can be found at .

"We ship them out unpainted because most people will paint them the same color as their wall, or some people will have their painter do a faux finish on them and make them look bronze… or stone finished," says Dekoning.

When you're picking your heat register design, the internet is a good place to start. These days you'll find a good variety to choose from including wood, brass, copper or nickel registers.

Decorative heat registers are like crown molding; when well-chosen and used appropriately they can add style to a room.

"A friend of mine just remodeled his kitchen with concrete counter tops, really nice cabinets and all new appliances, he says [my registers] are the first thing people see and make a comment on," says Dekoning.

And while you're swapping out your standard registers for decorative ones, it's an opportunity to clean out your air ducts and registers from dust and debris that's accumulated.

Here are a few tips to keep your central forced-air system running smoothly.

  • Don't close off a register in unoccupied rooms; it won't save you energy. According to furnace manufacturers and heating contractors, heating systems are designed to heat a specific square footage of living space. When you close a register, your system doesn't recognize that and instead, keeps heating the entire square footage of your house.

  • Always check to make sure that nothing is blocking your registers. Don't place items such as plants, bookshelves, and other furniture in front of them.

  • Have your air ducts professionally cleaned. Duct cleaning contractors will clean your registers, piping, ductwork, furnace air filters, and blower motor. It'll leave your home with cleaner, healthier air, as well as help your heating and cooling equipment run more efficiently.
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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or Visit for more information.

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