Help me find the filter on my air conditioner so I can change it
May 14, 2007 6:03 PM   Subscribe

I need to know how to get this air filter changed. I've searched the web and can't really find good answers. One of the panels is labeled "Arcoaire". Here are pictures: pic 1 | pic 2 | pic 3 | pic 4
posted by bofe to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Images can't be accessed =\ "403 forbidden"
posted by Phire at 6:10 PM on May 14, 2007

should be fixed now, sorry about that
posted by bofe at 6:34 PM on May 14, 2007

I started writing this answer and then I realized it was AIR CONDITIONER and not heater.

I would assume that there would be a slot on the intake side of the condenser where you should be able to slide in, or POP in the filter. This will be BEFORE the blower. Actually, as I look at that picture, it would seem that your fan is on top, so I'm thinking perhaps the filter goes BEHIND the metal grate you have taken off. Look for slats in the metal grate you've removed, that will indicate if air's supposed to go through there.

That's an...uhm...interesting setup you have there, haven't seen one like that before, but then I'm not an HVAC installer.

Also, look inside the cover you've removed for a sticker. That sticker should tell you the exact model number, efficiency, BTU/h rating, voltage requirements, etc. Then google that model number, or call the HVAC shop near you to ask.
posted by TomMelee at 7:14 PM on May 14, 2007

See that steel door with the red and white stickers on it? The lower one, below the one you already removed? Try sliding that up and then lifting it off. The filter should be behind that door, covering the duct opening that comes from your cold air returns. There will be some sort of lip or clip holding it in place. This serves as both the furnace and air conditioner filter. Not changing this often enough reduces airflow through your ducts, meaning it takes longer to cool/heat your space. Change at least once every 6 months.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:16 PM on May 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

In our A/C unit, the filter lies flat along the bottom of the unit, similar to where cosmicbandito describes.

Another option is to have your unit serviced to make sure everything's running well. They'd be able to tell you where the filter goes.

I see that one of your tags is "apartment" -- isn't there a landlord or maintenance person who should be taking care of these things?
posted by puritycontrol at 9:48 PM on May 14, 2007

Uggh. Looks like our old one.

Remove the bottom door. If you're lucky you'll see a filter slot. If it's like ours, you'll see another metal panel with some electronics bolted to it. You'll have to unscrew the whole panel and jury-rig a filter in place between the return duct and the blower fan (believe it or not, ours didn't have anything built in for a filter).

Hope it's not the same model. I rarely replaced the filters in that one because it was such a royal pain in the ass.
posted by chundo at 10:40 PM on May 14, 2007

What everybody else said. The key is that the filter lies in the airstream somewhere between the cold air return and the delivery fan. If it doesn't go behind that stickered door, go outside the furnace room, looking at the walls surrounding the furnace and find your return grates -- not the delivery grates but big rectangular ones that suck air in when the furnace/ac is running. Sometimes the filters are in there (pop a grate and see.)
posted by Opposite George at 11:41 PM on May 14, 2007

Where does that big duct in the top half of pic #4 go? Do you know if it's the return or the supply duct? Wikipedia seems to show that it's your supply duct and that your return is probably somewhere lower.

It seems to me like the actual place to put your filter isn't in the same room as your furnace. Both of the houses where I have had a furnace had the filter in the return duct directly on the other side of the grate. In one of my houses the return grate was on the ceiling (like this), and that's where the filter was. In my other house, it was right below the furnace (but not in the same closet) and that's where the filter was in that case also.

Another idea is that maybe your filter is between the furnace and the return duct, like this.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:13 AM on May 15, 2007

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