We moved in to a house a few months ago and for the life of me I cannot find the air filter for the furnace anywhere. The furnace is a Payne brand. It's kind of old. In our hallway ceiling, we have the intake vent. I unscrewed the vent itself and the filter is not there. I removed the front panels of the unit and there is nothing that I can see. I see two vents going up to the ceiling - one is the exhaust and the other, by the insulation, I'm assuming it's the hot air leaving the furnace. Anyone know where the air filter might be?

Not to mix two questions...but what's the white powder in the second image? We just moved in to this house so kind of nervous...Should call repair person or the DEA?

Thanks in advance fellows.

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  • 1
    A 16x20x1 filter beside the unit is a clue.
    – Kris
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 20:31
  • 1
    Thanks Kris. At this point, it's a clue to a puzzle which I'm going to pay 100 bucks to a repair person to solve.
    – Zuzlx
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 20:54
  • Is there a grill through which air leaves the living space to enter the area where the fan is? In my experience the filter is just before the fan in the air stream. Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 22:27
  • 1
    I can see it leaning up against the wall to the right of the furnace. Thank you Kris for the clue.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 0:40
  • 1
    post the top picture again without the yellow fiberglass panel
    – jsotola
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 4:18

2 Answers 2


Don't snort that stuff! It's just dust from the exhaust pipe. Not fun to get in your nose. Your furnace is a downflow furnace so the filter should be on the upper section. But from the picture it looks like even if it is there, you wouldn't be able to get it out because of the exhaust pipe. Filters are always in the cold air return side. The little grill on the floor is a fresh air intake for the burner. So if you feel a cold draft coming in from it, don't cover it, it's supposed to do that. If there is no filter you should definitely add one.

  • It looks like it's way over my head at this point. Repairman it is. Thanks
    – Zuzlx
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 20:50
  • Look in the house for a large intake in the ceiling, this is where they are normally located if not at the furnace. Most of the times if only 1 they will be in a central location like a hallway close to a larger living space. As soon as I typed this I realised it may be in the floor for the type of furnace..
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 23:34
  • Changing a furnace filter is not over your head. Since you need to do it at least twice a year, figure it out for yourself.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 21:03

It turns out that there are two metal filters behind motor in the picture where you have dig your hands way deep in there and slide them off. First I got angry as why someone would put them there. Then I got happy when I found out they are washable. Talk about emotional roller coaster.

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