How To Replace the Filter in a Carrier Furnace? (4 Step Guide)

Aren’t sure how to replace the filter in your Carrier brand furnace? This guide will show you how!

Locating and replacing a filter can seem daunting if you’ve never done it before, but replacing filters is necessary to keep your Carrier furnace in top shape.

In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:

  • The different types of furnace filters
  • How often to replace your Carrier filter
  • Supplies you’ll need to replace your filter
  • How to replace your filter

What You Need To Know About Replacing Filters in a Carrier Furnace

How often should you replace the filter on your Carrier furnace?

This is probably the most common question when it comes to furnace filters. The answer is: it depends. According to the Carrier website, the replacement period for Carrier filters can range from 30 days to a year.

We can broadly categorize the factors that affect the useful life of a furnace filter into two categories: filter type and air quality.

Filter Type:


These are the cheapest filter options, and we recommend you try to stay clear of them. They can work fine as a short-term fix if you aren’t particularly sensitive to pollen and other allergens, but these filters tend to let through the highest level of particles into your furnace.

One study by the National Institute of Health found that inexpensive, low-efficiency filters offer no better particle removal than no filter. According to Carrier, these should be replaced about every 30 days

Pleated Filters

The next step up are plated filters (so named because the surface of the filter itself is creased across, creating a pleated appearance).

These are slightly more expensive as compared to fiberglass filters but restrict significantly more air particles from getting into your furnace as compared to fiberglass filters.

The Carrier website recommends replacing these every 3 months to 1 year.

Reusable Air Filters

These are filters that are washed, rather than replaced, once they get dirty.

It’s a good idea to check these filters once every 30 days and clean as necessary.

If these filters are well maintained, they can last for years

Environmental Factors

Air Particles

Filters become dirty when they trap air particles. Naturally, if you live in an environment with more potential for dust and other allergens (maybe you have kids, or pets that shed significantly), a good air filter will prevent these from recirculating throughout your home via your filter.

However, this means those filters will get dirty more quickly and need replaced more often. While a filter is a crucial component of keeping your home as pollutant-free as possible, the EPA reminds us that it’s important to reduce or remove the sources of indoor air pollutants as much as possible.

Filtration doesn’t replace the need to control pollutants at their source and ventilate.

Your Sensitivity to Allergens

If you have asthma or are allergic to common household allergens, you will naturally have a lower tolerance for the allergens throughout your home. In order to keep these at a minimum it’s a good idea to keep your filter replacement cycle on the shorter side.

Supplies You’ll Need to Replace the Filter in a Carrier Furnace

  1. Replacement Filter – Take note to ensure the replacement filter is the same size as the filter currently in your furnace (Carrier filters are typically 1 inch thick). You can find the size of your filter by checking the frame of your current filter. The size will be written on the frame in a Height x Length x Width format, in inches. So, a filter that reads 16 x 25 x 1 is 16 inches high, 25 inches long and 1 inch wide.
  1. Screwdriver – On some Carrier furnaces, the furnace doors / access panels are held in place with screws. If this is the case for your furnace, you’ll need a screwdriver.

How To Replace Filters in a Carrier Furnace (4 Steps)

Check out this video for a useful guide to how to replace your furnace filter. The video is not specific to Carrier furnaces, but many of the steps are similar across furnace brands.

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Safety first! Before replacing the filter or otherwise working with your Carrier furnace (or any other furnace), always turn the power off to avoid working in the unit while electricity runs through it.

Step 2: Locate the Filter

There is no one-size fits all step for locating the filter in your Carrier furnace, as the furnace filter is located in different parts of the furnace for different models.

The filter can also be positioned differently (e.g. horizontally or vertically) depending on your furnace model.

As mentioned above, sometimes the filter is located within the furnace, and you’ll need to remove the furnace doors to access it (use your screwdriver as necessary).

While giving guidance on where exactly your filter is located is difficult, we can safely say that your filter will always be located on the return side of your furnace (i.e., the side of your furnace next to the return duct work).

Aren’t sure which is your return duct work? Power your furnace back on and run the heat for a few minutes. Then, turn the power back off and feel your duct work.

The side that is cooler is the return side.

Be sure the furnace is powered off before proceeding.

Step 3: Remove the Old Filter

Sometimes this is as easy as sliding the filter out from wherever it’s housed. In other cases the filter is held in place with screws, so your screwdriver might come in handy here as well.

If it’s been a while since you replaced your furnace filter, it may be difficult to remove, but try not to let the furnace tear while you’re removing it, as that will create a mess inside your furnace (and potentially your vents, if the debris isn’t cleaned up entirely).

If your filter is located on the exterior of the furnace and you’re really struggling to remove it, you may be able to open the furnace to get at the filter from a different direction in an effort to dislodge it.

Step 4: Replace the filter

With your new filter in hand (taking note to ensure it has the same dimensions as the filter you just removed), place the filter in the same spot as the filter you just removed.

However, note that the direction your furnace faces is important. All furnace filters have an arrow on the frame. The arrow must face towards the furnace in order for your filter to work properly.

And you’re done! Replacing your Carrier furnace filter is a straightforward exercise once you’ve done it once or twice, but it’s easy to forget!

For that reason, we recommend setting a reminder to check your filter once every 30 days so you don’t forget to replace or clean your furnace filter.

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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