Air Filter Fell In Furnace – What To Do?

Every furnace in a house needs an air filter because it functions as a barrier preventing dirt particles from entering it. However, your air filter might fall into the furnace. We inquired from experts, and here's what you should do if this happens to you at home.

You must remove the air filter from the furnace as soon as possible. Therefore:

  1. Turn off the furnace immediately before it starts a fire.
  2. Open the furnace's access covers to remove the air filter if it is close to or on the surface.
  3. Seek professional assistance if the filter is inside the ductwork.
  4. Replace the old air filter with a new one.

An air filter in the furnace could cause potential damage to the system if you fail to take action on it before it's too late. Continue reading as we explain what you should do when an air filter falls into the furnace.

New filter for a furnace to be replaced, Air Filter Fell In Furnace - What To Do?

A residential oil furnace - forced hot air with central air conditioning and an in-line humidifier as well.

Furnace repair with a voltage meter used by a man

New clean filter is being inserted into a home furnace

Plumber repairs furnace

Stock image of HVAC technician replacing filter on furnace

What To Do If An Air Filter Falls In A Furnace

Furnace repair with a voltage meter used by a man, Air Filter Fell In Furnace - What To Do?

The risk of not changing the home air filter regularly will eventually result in furnace damage. It means that the excess heat will completely ruin the system. The cost could be nearly as much as replacing the entire system.

1. Turn Off The Furnace

Turn Off The Furnace - specialist checks the central heating system

Furnaces are one of the most frequent sources of fires. Airflow is comprised when the air filter is dirty. If it becomes too clogged, it could fall into the furnace.

The furnace and your house could sustain significant damage in this condition, resulting in a potential fire risk.

2. Open The Furnace

Open The Furnace - Metal hardening furnace. The door is open, ready to load metal parts.

Remove the access covers on the furnace can before removing the air filter. You can remove the air filter if it is close or on the surface. However, since it is hazardous, it is still advised to seek professional help before doing this.

3. Seek Professional Help

Seek Professional Help - Service Man Working on Furnace

The duct system may develop a mold problem. You'll need professional assistance to clean up dusty ducts. Dust being blown back into the air makes breathing harder and aggravates allergies and sneezing.

4. Replace The Filter

Replace The Filter - Senior caucasian man changing a folded dirty air filter in the HVAC furnace system in basement of home

You should inspect and replace the air filter in your furnace. You may want to change the filter more regularly if you have allergies or have dogs at home.

Why Air Filters Fall In The Furnace

The common reasons why air filters fall into the furnace are:


A heavily clogged air filter could give up because of the blower fan's strain. That could lead to the air filter falling into the furnace. It could cause severe damage to the motor and require immediate repair by an expert.

Thin Air Filters

A fragile and cheap air filter has the possibility of being sucked into the furnace, especially if the filter gets clogged.

It is advisable to use high-quality, robust polyester filters rather than the more delicate fiberglass ones. It might cost more, but you won't need to buy or change your air filters often.

Wrong Installation

An air filter that is installed backward might also fall into the furnace. Carefully read the instructions and insert the air filter correctly. Confirm that the filter is positioned perfectly in its slot as well.

Ask a professional any questions you may have concerning the filter when it is time for regular maintenance.

Benefits Of Regularly Changing Air Filters

Regular maintenance and replacement of air filters are crucial for the efficient functioning of the furnace. Dust and debris that eventually build up on the air filter are hard to deal with. Change the air filters often as it benefits you.

Here are some of the benefits it has to offer you and your home.

Changing the air filter in the furnace is key to ensuring that you have cleaner, healthier, and fresher indoor air.

Cleaner air promotes good health for everyone, especially children and the elderly. Your health and ability to fall asleep at night can both be improved by cleaner indoor air.

If several people and pets live in your house and the surroundings seem dusty, you should change your air filter more often. You would not want to live in an environment where you breathe in those particles or risk everyone's safety at home.

Lastly, regularly changing your air filter can help the system last longer and require less maintenance. You will save money on your energy bills. Consider installing a home filtration system if you experience discomforts such as an itchy nose or trouble breathing.

Signs To Observe If the Air Filter Is Functioning Properly

If you notice these different signs on your air filter, it points out that it needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Discoloration Of The Air Filter

Replace the air filter if you notice that it is severely discolored and contaminated with dust or hair. The particles on this dirty filter probably contaminate the air in your house.

Increased Energy Bills

Another sign that your filter isn't functioning is a significant increase in your monthly electricity bills. A blocked filter limits circulation, making the system work harder, thus utilizing more energy to circulate air around your home.

The Airflow Is Low

The amount of air that can pass through a clogged filter is reduced. As a result, less air will be circulated.

How To Replace The Air Filter

How To Replace The Air Filter - Senior caucasian man changing a folded dirty air filter in the HVAC furnace system

By following these easy steps, you can quickly and easily change your air filter, keeping your energy costs down and your air fresh and clean.

1. Choose The Accurate Size

Before buying new air filters for a new house, ensure the old ones fit correctly, there are no gaps, and the filter is not bent. To ensure a suitable fit, order a customized air filter size if you can't find the right nominal size.

2. Switch Off The Power Supply

The power switch is typically found next to a furnace. Before continuing, ensure this switch is in the off position. To prevent danger, turn off the power at your fuse box if a switch is not visible.

3. Remove The Old Air Filter

Usually, air filters in the furnace are concealed under a slotted ventilation cover. Some covers pop off, while others require a few screws to keep them in place. Carefully remove the lid and lay it aside.

4. Discard The Old Filter

Dirt particles will be found in the old filter, so it's essential to have a garbage bag on hand and discard the old filter as soon as possible.

5. Insert A New Filter

Carefully place the new item into the available area after ensuring that any directional arrows point in the right direction.

6. Replace The Cover

Lastly, pop or screw the cover back to improve the air quality, protect the system, and save electricity costs.

3 Most Recommended Air Filters to Purchase

AIRx Filters Allergy

Click here to see AIRx Filters Allergy on Amazon.

Filtrete AC Furnace Air Filter

Click this link to see Filtrete, AC Furnace Air Filter on Amazon.

BNX MERV 13 Air Filter

Click this link to see BNX MERV 13 Air Filter on Amazon.

No, it isn't allowed since it has a critical job role in the furnace. It should always have a clean filter to ensure the furnace works correctly.

In Closing

Check out some additional articles that may be of interest to you before you leave:

Is It Better To Have A Dirty Air Filter Or No Air Filter In HVAC?

Does Air Filter Brand Matter?

How To Tell If Your Heat Pump Has Auxiliary Heat

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