Do Central Air Conditioners Have Filters?

All central heating and cooling systems must have an air filter, but it may be more difficult to locate it in some HVAC units than in others. It is usually found in the return air duct or in the fan compartment before the return air reaches the air controller.


, the central air conditioner has a filter. In fact, most central air conditioning units have two or more filters.

These filters clean the air and ensure good air quality as the unit circulates between indoor and outdoor air. In some systems, the filters are located in the return air duct. This is the one that returns the air from your space to the air conditioner's air treatment system. If you have a large system with multiple air controllers and return ducts, finding the filters can be a challenge.

The air filter is usually close to your home thermostat, in a return duct. Or, it's most likely right next to your air conditioning system's air controller. A central air conditioning filter is usually made of spun fibreglass or pleated paper or cloth, enclosed in a rectangular cardboard frame. Fibreglass filters, the cheapest, are approximately one inch thick and are common in older systems.

Newer models of central air conditioning use thicker pleated filters. From sizes to types, qualities and more, here's everything you need to know about air filters. Filters come in many sizes, so you can check the manufacturer's website for your current air filters or air conditioners or your owner's manual to determine the correct size. Replacing the air conditioner filter in your home will allow the unit to continue to blow cold air without interruption.

Research has shown that many homes and commercial spaces have more polluted air than outdoor air. The air conditioner draws air from the indoor environment and removes heat from it before returning it to the room. Air filters with the highest MERV ratings have denser, tighter woven fibers to trap smaller particles. It is easy to identify the return air outlet when the heat pump is turned on, it is enough to place a piece of toilet paper near the ventilation grille so that the return air absorbs the tissue. Without a filter, the system will suck in air laden with debris and return the same dirty air to the indoor environment, contributing to health problems.

Air filters are available at home improvement stores, as well as retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Commercial and residential cooling and heating systems need a filter to remove impurities before drawing indoor air into the system and returning it to areas that are supposed to be heated or cooled. Most central air units would actually have two filters: you'll find one on the air controller and another (or even a few) on the return vents. Regularly replacing air filters is the most important thing you can do to keep your central air conditioner running efficiently. Return vent filters are recommended, as they not only protect HVAC equipment, but they also clean the air that is breathed by filtering various particles.

In this case, your air filter is most likely located right next to the boiler air controller or air conditioning system. The filter is responsible for removing impurities from the air before the HVAC system returns heated or cooled air to the building. Because HVAC units are often hidden in smaller, less convenient spaces, some homes are configured to place air filters in return vents.