How close to HVAC return can I place furniture?

3 years ago

Hi everyone,

We have a 23" x 23" return (grille + air filter) on one of the main walls in our living room. We'd like to put a bookshelf in front of it to put our TV on, but want to make sure we don't restrict the air flow. We also realize that we need to leave enough room to be able to change the filter without having to move the furniture every time.

We've been told that putting the shelf 5" or 6" out from the wall should be enough to ensure proper airflow, but that seems like it would feel like it's pretty far out from the wall.

Does that amount seem right?

Would leaving the back open or using something like a metal mesh on the back of the furniture help at all?

Our plan was for the bookshelf to be 30" tall, to extend 1"-2" above the top of the grille, and extend about the same to the right of the right side of the grille.

Thanks for the help!

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