The air cleaner filter in your home can be located in a variety of places, depending on the type of HVAC system you have. In a vertical upflow system, it is usually located at the bottom, while in a vertical downflow system, it is at the top. For horizontal HVAC systems, which are often found in attics, garages, or large basements, the air cleaner is usually placed vertically in a slot on the side of the unit. It is also often close to your home thermostat or in a return duct.
Finding the air filter can be more complicated in some HVAC systems. It may be located in the return air duct, which can be anywhere. You should look for all filters as some systems have several filters and even different types of filters installed, such as a fiberglass or pleated paper filter, a washable filter, and an electrostatic air filter. These filters are reinforced to prevent airflow from collapsing the filter material and leading it directly to the fan itself.
The air filter may also be located inside a box with slat openings for air to flow through. This box is usually found in the ceiling, wall or floor and contains slat openings for air to flow. It is important to change your air filter regularly as this will improve efficiency and extend the life of your HVAC system. In some cases, an additional air intake may have been added to improve total air flow through the system.
This intake may be drawing return air from near the oil or gas burner in a furnace. It is important to check for this as it can lead to dirt, debris, moisture and mold entering your home from nearby basement areas. If you recently moved or bought a new home, you may be wondering where your HVAC air filters are located. Knowing where they are and how to change them regularly will help you keep your HVAC system running efficiently and extend its life.