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Where is My Furnace Filter Located?

where is my furnace filter located

Homeowners often find it difficult to locate their furnace filter due to either not knowing where it is located or not knowing what type of filter that they need. In the winter, we need to make sure our residences are warm and that our heating system is functioning properly.

What is the furnace air filter location in my HVAC system? It is typically located behind a metal compartment door near the floor or side of the furnace.

The location of the furnace filter will vary depending on what furnace you have, but there are some basics that everyone should know. In this article, we'll explain why every homeowner should know where their furnace filter is, what you need to know before getting started, how it works and how to pick one out and replace it.

My Furnace Air Filter Location Is...

The front of the furnace will generally have either a round metal removable cover or a plastic grill with metal in it. The cover or grill is either held in place by screws, which can be removed using a screw driver, or a sliding lock which can easily be unlocked.

In some cases, you may need to pull off this grill or plate in order to get access to your filter, but just remember that there could be sharp edges that could injure you.

Your air filter located inside the heating or cooling system depends on the type of furnace your home is equipped with. For example...

Up Flow Furnace

This means air moving upwards out of your vertical HVAC unit. The blower compartment's (bottom door) next to the cold air return is where you'll find this filter. After removing the top and then the bottom doors, you must replace them in order.

Check that the bottom door is properly secured over the furnace frame and switches on the safety device. The furnace will not operate if it isn't.

Down Flow Furnace

This means the air is moving down out of your vertical HVAC unit. The upper blower compartment has an HVAC filter that is attached to the engine. The majority of furnaces will include a V-shaped filtering system; it will require two filters. The filters extend up into the plenum in a V pattern.

When you replace the top door, make sure it covers the furnace frame and activates the safety switch. If not the furnace will not run.

Horizontal Furnace

Most horizontal furnaces will include a sliding furnace rack built into it. Slide the rack out of your horizontal HVAC unit to access the filter.

Air Handler

In hotter climates, some homeowners do not have a regular furnace but rather an air handler that uses electric coils to heat air rather than gas. Most air handlers have a built in filter rack in the unit that sits behind a door. Most air handlers will also have central return air duct, which have built in filter grills to accommodate a filter.

Make sure that you don't have a filter in both the same air handler and the filter grill. This will result in decreased air flow and increased utility bills.

How Often Do I Replace My Furnace Filter?

A clean new filter is an important part of any heating system maintenance. As a general rule of thumb, manufacturers recommend changing an old filter seasonally or once every three months. However, you should change your air filters more often if you have allergies or respiratory problems.

The Indoor Air Quality Benefits

A furnace filter is designed to trap airborne particles found floating in home heating and cooling air return duct. The heat exchange process inside the heating system pulls air into the filter, trapping various types of debris, mold spores, pet dander, and more -- large particles stick on surfaces while smaller ones are trapped deeper in the material. A clean furnace filter ensures that the unit is able to operate efficiently by allowing unhindered warm air through your vents.

Air filters need replacing depending upon how dirty your indoor air quality is. If you have pets, live near a farm or do lots of cooking, you would benefit from changing them more often than someone who lives in a rural area with no pets.

The Most Common Furnace Filter Types

Panel air filters are one of the most common furnace filters in use today and offer an inexpensive option for homeowners. This type of furnace filter is typically pleated paper or fiberglass that fits into a permanent frame, however you can also find them sometimes made out of plastic.

In recent years, there have been many advancements in furnace air filter technology. Some of these advancements include electronic air filters and combination air filters that work very efficiently to pull dust particles from the air circulating through your home heating unit.

If you're looking for a furnace filter that works less like an ordinary fiberglass model and more like an electronic one, you're in luck. An electronic furnace filter will do less damage to your heating system and pull dirt out of the air up to ninety-nine percent more efficiently than most other models on the market.

Combination furnace filters are also very popular among homeowners today because they offer an affordable option for getting rid of dust particles in your home's heating system. One of the best benefits of a combination filter is the fact that it has the dust-reducing power of an electronic filter, while also lasting up to six months between charges.

Choosing a Furnace Filter

Furnace air filters can be found in all shapes and sizes and while some models may work very well for an extended period of time, others may not be worth your money.

If you're looking to buy an electronic furnace air filter, for example, it's important to note that they can cost anywhere between fifteen and fifty dollars each. While the average lifetime of an electronic air filter is about three years, you'll want to make sure you purchase one with a reputation for durability.

If you want to purchase a good combination furnace air filter, then you'll need to keep an eye on the quality of your filter at all times. Check the MERV rating, or minimum efficiency reporting value, and the size filter you need for your furnace.

Unfortunately, while most combination filters may not do much damage to your home heating unit, they may only last you about six months or less before needing to be recharged or replaced. If you want to make sure that your furnace filter works efficiently, don't forget to check the air flow in your heating unit every few months.

My Furnace Has No Filter Installed: What Should I Do?

If your furnace does not have an existing filter, you are essentially blowing unfiltered air through the heating system - this is not ideal. The air that will be supplied to the house has very large particles in it, including dirt and dust.

This can damage the system itself over time making it susceptible to future furnace repair, but could also cause serious health problems for those who live in the house. It is important to find out why there is no filter attached, and make sure it gets installed as soon as possible.

If you are putting in a new furnace, sometimes they do not come with one pre-installed. If this is the case, installing one yourself is not too difficult. Other times, the furnace may be damaged and the filter was taken out to make it easier to fix. This also means you can attach the filter without much trouble.

Finally, people will sometimes take their filters out when they are not using the furnace during winter. This is very bad for both your furnace and your home's air quality.

Professional Support on Furnace Filters and More!

The comfort specialists at ARS/Rescue Rooter have the experience and the tools to make your annual furnace maintenance pain free. We offer full system inspections that include examining your existing furnace air filter.

To schedule an appointment for one of our comfort specialists to provide a furnace tune-up, call 866-399-2885 or find your nearest ARS/Rescue Rooter location here.

Searching for more knowledge to boost your indoor comfort? Sign up for our email newsletter and you'll receive expert tips and advice from our HVAC & plumbing pros. Plus when you sign-up. you'll be entered into a drawing to win a FREE 50 Gallon Gas or Electric Water Heater!

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