Finding an Air Conditioner Filter Sucked Into Ducts

What You'll Need
Dust mask
Screw driver
Ladder (optional)
A new filter in case the old one is worn out
Clean cloth

An air conditioner filter getting sucked into ducts is not an unusual occurrence. Periodic air-filter cleaning is a must to prevent this from happening.  Filters get sucked into the ducts if they are faulty or have accumulated a lot of dust. They tend to wear out after persistent use. The sucked in air-filter will obstruct the air flow. This will hamper the smooth functioning of the air-conditioning unit. Follow these simple steps to fix the problem.

 Step 1 - Detach the Ducts

Use a dust mask before removing the duct. This will protect you from dust particles and allergens. Wear glasses if required. Use a screwdriver to unscrew all the screws holding the duct together. Place the screws aside for later use.

Step 2 - Locate the Air Filter 

The duct system varies from device to device. It is generally difficult to locate the sucked-in filter. Remove the duct system entirely to find it. Start from the part in which the filter got sucked in. You can easily retrieve it if the air-handler or furnace is near by.

Step 3 – Detach or Cut the Ducts

Detach the ducts by using a screw driver. Ensure that the air-conditioning unit is switched off before detaching the ducts. Use a firm ladder if needed. Cut the duct into two halves using a sharp knife if locating the filter becomes difficult.

Step 4 - Reattach the Ducts

Reattach the ducts firmly using a screw driver. If you had cut the duct, seal it back with a silver duct tape after retrieving the filter. Be careful while reattaching the ducts and make sure that you do not damage the insulation.

Some Useful Tips

  • Replace the air-filter with a new filter that has more strength or better flow rate. Increase the shelf-life of the filters by regular maintenance. Clean the filter with a clean cloth once a week.
  • An air-conditioning filter can get sucked into the duct if you install it improperly. This generally happens when the unit is in the attic. The problem can be solved by removing the blower compartment door/cover of the unit. You can easily recover the filter from the compartment.
  • Locate the furnace and the filter compartment. It is encompassed with a metal strip. Measure the size of the old filter and purchase a new one accordingly. Sizes are prescribed on the side of the unit. Purchase a high efficiency filter if you live in a tropical area.