Know Where Your System’s Air Filters Are

Know Where Your System's Air Filters AreAir filters play a critical role in supporting HVAC energy efficiency, heating/cooling performance and healthy air quality.

Changing the filter is just about the only routine do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance task a typical homeowner needs to take on. During heating season, the filter should be checked monthly for dust and dirt accumulation and replaced if needed. Just don’t go longer than two months without installing a new filter. During summer cooling season, monthly replacements are recommended.

Air Handler Filter

Most central HVAC systems incorporate a single filter that serves both heating and cooling mode. It’s usually installed at the the central air handler that incorporates the system blower as well as the furnace components and air conditioner coil. Here’s how to locate the filter for quick, easy replacement:

  • Notice where the large rectangular return air duct that brings air back to the unit for re-heating or cooling attaches to the air handler. In most homes, the return duct extends down the side of the unit to the floor, then makes a right-angle turn to direct air into the bottom of the furnace/ air conditioner coil. Airflow then moves upward through the air handler.
  • At the junction where the return duct connects to the air handler, a vertical filter slot is located. It may be covered by a spring-loaded door. Open the door and slide out the old filter. Insert a new filter to take its place.

Central Return Vent Filter

Rather than individual return vents in every room, some residences utilize one central return vent typically located in the wall of a central hallway. This vent may incorporate an additional air filter behind the grille. If a filter is present, the grill will usually be hinged at the bottom to facilitate quick access and removal/replacement of the filter.

Notice The Arrows

Directional arrows are printed along the frame of air filters. When installing a new filter, make sure the arrows point in the direction of system airflow into the air handler.

Got more questions about changing HVAC air filters? Contact Paitson Bros. serving Terre Haute homeowners since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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