The filter in your HVAC system directly impacts how well your home heating and cooling works. Keeping up with your filters is essential. The air filter is usually in the return duct or that big metal grate on your wall, ceiling or utility closet door.
Air filter housings are the central hub of a home’s air filtration system, but they often need to be noticed. They are the only component that ensures clean and safe air recirculation throughout your house. Air filters are typically located at the return vent, which is that big metal grate on your ceiling or wall that pulls air into the blower section of your HVAC equipment to be heated or cooled. To find the air filter slot, look closely at the top of your return vent for a 1 1/2″ wide, vertical or horizontal hole.
If your system has a standard fiberglass or furnace filter, you will look for a round hole with a cover. A pleated air filter will have one side with thin metal wiring and another plain. Usually, the filter has a tab or bolt that you pull or unscrew to remove and replace the old filter with the new one.
The best HVAC air filter housing can reduce the amount of dust in your house and protect your HVAC system. They can also reduce energy costs by enhancing your furnace’s or air conditioner’s efficiency. Keeping the ducts clean is important if you have an HVAC with ductwork. Dirty ducts can promote mold, mildew, and other unhealthy particles.
To clean an HVAC filter:
- Turn off the unit to avoid unfiltered air circulating through your home while working.
- Remove the filter and vacuum it, or take it outside to wash with a sprayer.
- Rinse it with warm water, letting the filter dry completely before reinserting it.
- Allow it to dry for an hour before reinstalling.
Keeping the filter clean helps to improve your home’s air quality and extends its lifespan.
Changing air filters is the most important thing you can do to keep your HVAC system running properly. Dirty filters cause equipment to work harder to compensate for insufficient airflow, driving up home energy consumption and unnecessarily high bills. Inspecting your filter monthly is the best way to ensure it is in good condition. It should be clean enough that you can see light coming through it. If you must strain to see the morning, it’s time to replace the filter.
Whole house air filters are inserted into your ductwork on a stand that fits over the vent opening or directly in the duct. They usually have a slot with a removable cover or a wide hinge and are designed to hold 2″ or 4″ ASHRAE-rated filters. They are fabricated from galvanized or optional stainless steel and are welded or bolted together. Each one is custom-manufactured to meet specific end-user requirements.
Air filters come in a variety of sizes. They range from a basic cylinder with fiberglass strands (for disposable filters) or metal mesh (for washable filters) to high-tech units that use electrostatic plates to trap particles. The right size filter is essential for catching airborne contaminants and keeping your system running efficiently. Inserting the wrong size could damage your system, increase energy bills, and even affect your health.
Ideally, you should find an air filter with a nominal size that fits your unit’s frame or vent slot perfectly. That way, it doesn’t need any wiggle room in the space to slip into place. However, you can also measure your vent space’s actual height and width to be sure. You want the filter to fit snugly but not so tight that it’s difficult to install or remove. In that case, your filter’s actual size should be about 1/8 inch smaller than its nominal size.