If you usually let a technician handle anything HVAC related in your home, you might not know where to locate your furnace air filter. Leaving it to the professionals is a good idea, but if there’s anything homeowners should know, it’s where to find your filters!
Where is a furnace filter usually located? And why is this something you need to know? In this blog, Barker’s Heating & Cooling will be answering these questions for you! Keep reading to learn more about furnace filters and where to find them!
Why does my furnace need a filter?
Any section to your HVAC system, whether that be the main AC unit or your furnace, requires an air filter. Your furnace simply will not function properly without one. Your HVAC system works to pull the air inside your home into its ductwork, and a filter blocks any particles and debris before it reaches the blower fan. They not only protect your heater but also clean your air by making sure no allergens get circulated back into your ductwork.
Adding an air filter is more than just a one-and-done job, however! According to the Energy Star, a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy, you should change your filter once every month or at least every three months. If you push this off, you can cause your furnace to work harder than it needs to, which can lead to overheating.
Where can I find my furnace filter?
Locating your furnace filter can be a challenge because everyone’s HVAC system is different. Here are a few of the most common filter locations based on the type of unit you have:
- Horizontal units – typically located in garages, attics or basements. The filter usually fits in a slot or rack on the side of the unit.
- Vertical HVAC units – typically located in areas with limited space, like crawl spaces. The filter is usually where the blower is found, which is either a slot or door above or below the unit.
- Other locations – If you can’t find your filter in any of the above locations, check behind a return air grill within your home, such as a wall, ceiling, hallway or utility closet door.
How do I replace my furnace filter?
Before you choose a replacement filter, make sure you look out for its MERV rating, aka the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This is a measurement system designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to determine the efficiency of your filter at blocking particles and allergens.
Energy Star states that the higher the MERV rating, the better its efficiency. But not all homes need the highest value available. In fact, this could actually harm your filter by causing it to overwork and again, overheat. The ideal rating for most residential homes is between 5 to 8. If you need help, contact a certified HVAC technician such as Barker’s Heating & Cooling. We’ll be able to help you choose the appropriate value for your furnace.
If you’re able to locate the filter and find the necessary replacement on your own, insert it back into its original slot. Slide the new filter in with the arrows pointing toward the furnace. Inserting your filter backwards won’t cause immediate damage, but your furnace won’t work as efficiently. Try to remember that air flows through your ducts, then your filter, and finally, into the furnace. So you need to insert the arrows on the filters toward your furnace.
Contact Barker’s Heating and Cooling
Are you looking for more assistance with your furnace or furnace filters for your College Station home? Barker’s Heating & Cooling is ready to be put to the test! Contact us today for any of your HVAC questions or concerns!