Do HVAC Systems Need Filters?

All central heating and cooling systems must have an air filter, but it may be more difficult to locate in some HVAC units than in others. It is usually located in the return air duct or in the fan compartment before the return air reaches the air handler. Yes, 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. Yes, all & heat pumps in the ovens have filters. If your home uses another type of heating system, such as a boiler that uses water to heat the house, you won't have filters, but for an oven or heat pump, a filter is a vital component. An oven filter serves as a barrier to trap dust and debris entering the return duct from reaching the fan. This protects the oven and keeps the air cleaner, since the HVAC system does not recirculate allergens to the air.

In older systems, it's more common to find cheaper and thinner one-inch fiberglass filters, while newer systems tend to use thicker pleated filters. All of these problems can cause your system to malfunction and potentially create a health problem for you when mold and mildew build up. This will lead to insufficient airflow, high utility bills and, in some cases, a damaged heating and cooling system. Be sure to find all filters, as some systems have several filters and even several types of filters installed, such as a fiberglass or pleated paper filter, a washable filter, and an electrostatic air filter. Provide examples of where and how to look for filters in an air conditioning or warm air heating system.

One side is more porous, allowing the filter to effectively trap particles in the air without slowing down the speed of air flow through the system. If, for some reason, you have placed the filter backwards, the HVAC system would have to work harder, since it would be more difficult for you to draw in the air. Of course, a heavily soiled air filter will also slow down air movement and increase the operating cost in an air conditioning or heating system. If the system has been operating in heating mode, the supply or outlet air ends of the ducts connected to the air controller will be warm to the touch and the inlet or return air ducts will be cooler. The filter will clog in a few months and will need to be replaced, otherwise it will drastically reduce HVAC energy efficiency.

One of the first signs that your filter needs cleaning is when your system doesn't cool as well or evenly. Although the answer to this question is yes, your air conditioning system will continue to operate without a filter, you should never attempt to do so. The filter is installed so that the arrow (and airflow) shows air moving through the filter TO the duct system (on a central air return grill) or TO THE air handler (for filters installed in the blower unit). Opening the blower compartment door in these systems will expose one or more filters that are simply placed in place in a frame. Someone probably added this air intake (yellow arrows) to improve the total air flow through the system, but drawing the return air from near the oil or gas burner in a furnace can. It is essential that all HVAC systems have an air filter.

Not only does it help keep your home's indoor environment clean by trapping dust particles and other allergens from circulating through your home's ventilation system but it also helps keep your HVAC system running efficiently by preventing dirt buildup on its components. A dirty filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder than necessary which can lead to higher energy bills and premature breakdowns.

Nina Siegwarth
Nina Siegwarth

Certified foodaholic. Incurable web specialist. Incurable web advocate. Friendly internet specialist. Evil music aficionado.

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