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Where Is the Furnace Filter? How Do I Change It?

man-holding-furnace-filterWe hope you’re reading this post because you have these questions on your mind—probably because you’ve seen mention on our site, or elsewhere on home service pages, that routine furnace filter changes are mandatory for top heating performance.

Yes, the air filter in your furnace must be changed regularly throughout the heating season. If your AC is housed in the same cabinet (and most are), then it shares use of the same filter and it needs to be routinely changed during the cooling season as well. Simple panel filters (which you can purchase in packs for about a dollar each) usually need to be replaced monthly, while stronger pleated filters can last from 3 to 4 months.

But … where is this filter?

Ah, yes. This is a good place to start. Furnace filters are found in one of two places:

  • On the HVAC cabinet: Go to the HVAC cabinet and find the part that houses the air handler, i.e. where the blower fan is. This is usually on the bottom of the cabinet. The return air duct connects to the cabinet at this point, and you’ll find the filter in a slot where the duct meets the cabinet.
  • Behind the return air vent: If you don’t see the filter on the cabinet, locate the return air vent inside your house. Unscrew the cover over the vent, and you should find the filter set behind it.

If you are still having trouble finding where the vent is, call our HVAC technicians for assistance.

Now how do I change the filter?

First, make sure you have a clean filter on hand; you can buy them at any home supply store.

Remove the old filter and throw it away. Put the new filter in its place, fitting it in the same way the old filter was fit. Make sure the filter is facing the right direction: the correct side facing toward the incoming air. The filter has arrows on it to show what way to place it, and you can match it up with arrows on the slot.

We advise writing the date you put the new filter in on the side of the filter. This is an easy way to keep track of how much time has passed since the new filter was put in.

What happens if I don’t change the filter regularly?

Plenty, unfortunately. Once the filter becomes clogged with debris, it will restrict airflow into the furnace. The drop in airflow will result in a decline in comfort around the rooms. The extra strain placed on the blower motor will cause the furnace to lose efficiency and your electrical bills to rise. As the filter becomes excessively clogged, it will distort from the pressure against it and start to allow debris around it. It can even start to develop mold and create air quality hazards.

If you have any serious issues with your furnace in Columbia City, IN, or you’d like assistance with your filter, reach out to us—we’re here to help!

Call us for help with your heating this season. Collier’s Heating & Air Conditioning—For over 30 years, a company you’ve grown to trust.

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