If you have recently moved, bought a new home, or decided it’s time to replace your air filter, you may be wondering where your filters are located. When you start to look for your air filter, what you thought was going to be an easy task can become quite time-consuming! That’s why it’s important to know the most common places to look for your HVAC system(s) so that you can more easily find your filter. There are several types of HVAC units and each one may require the filter to be installed differently. In addition, some homes have multiple HVAC units, so you may have to search in a few different locations!
When you go to look for your air filter, start by inspecting your ceiling or wall returns. Some HVAC units place the air filter behind a return air grille to allow for easy access when it comes time to change out the filter. Afterwards, be sure to check your basement, crawlspaces, attic or garage for your HVAC air handler. No matter the location, you’ll most likely have one of the following systems:
- Vertical HVAC units are typically found in basements or crawlspaces where room is limited. These units are broken up into two different systems: up-flow and down-flow.
- Up-flow draws cool air from the bottom and forces heated air through the top. The filter in this system is most likely located at the bottom of the HVAC unit.
- Down-flow draws cool air from the top and forces heated air out from the bottom. The filter is most likely located at the top of the HVAC unit.
- Horizontal HVAC units are found mostly in attics, garages, or large basements. They draw cool air from one side and force heated air out of the other side; plus, these systems are typically suspended from the ceiling or placed on a platform.
If you have more than one HVAC system, then you have more than one air filter. However, it’s also important to note that some HVAC systems, especially larger ones, may have more than one air filter and can even require different sizes.