How important are air filters to your home’s energy efficiency, heating/cooling performance and indoor air quality? Consider that the entire volume of air inside your house passes through the filter multiple times each day as long as the system blower is running. Any obstruction or other issue affecting air filters directly impacts comfort, economy and the health of your indoor environment.
Proper maintenance including inspection and regularly scheduled filter replacement are important issues. Here’s a quick guide to common locations for home HVAC air filters.
Inside The Air Handler
Typical residential central heating and A/C systems utilize one filter for both furnace and air conditioner operation. In most cases, this filter will be found at the central air handler that incorporates the system blower as well as the furnace and the air conditioner coil.
Most residential units are “upflow” air handlers. The rectangular metal return air duct usually extends down the side of the air handler and enters the bottom of the unit at the floor. In this configuration, the air filter is usually installed in a vertical slot in the return duct very close to the point where it connects to the air handler. The slot may be covered with a spring-loaded access door. Simply slide out the old filter and insert a fresh replacement.
At The Central Return Vent
Rather than individual return vents in each room, many houses utilize a single central return vent, usually located in a common area such as a hallway. This vent may also incorporate a separate air filter, installed just behind the grille. Often the grille is hinged on one side to facilitate access to the filter. Release the lock screws, open the grille and remove the old filter. Wipe dust out of the filter frame and grille with a rag, then install the new filter. Close and lock the grille.
Follow The Arrows
When installing new air filters, always orient the filter so the arrows printed on the edge point in the direction of return airflow.
Need help finding or replacing air filters? Contact the HVAC pros at Detmer and Sons.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).