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Relocating A/C filter

I'm in the process of doing some cleaning of my A/C unit and am getting really tired of having to get into my crawlspace to change the filter. My house is a 1953 Cape Cod, with central air (heat is still baseboard) installed about 10 years ago, before I bought the house. A/C was only installed on the first floor, so I have window units in the 2nd floor bedrooms. The filter is currently located near the blower (I guess that's what that is) in the crawlspace. My basement is half basement, half crawlspace, with the crawlspace open to the basement, so it's not like I have to crawl under the house through some little opening, but I do still have to move stuff out of the way and get up in the dirt (and spiderwebs. Not a fan of spiders) to change the filter. The return is in the master bedroom on the second floor. I was wondering if there would be any problems with me moving the filter location to the return. Could I just basically patch the opening where the filter is housed now, and replace my return vent with one that will accept a filter? I feel this would be so much easier to change, and I would be more inclined to change the filter more regularly. This seems like the more logical location for it to have been installed in when the system was put in, but I'm no HVAC spe******t, obviously.
Also, there is a grate in the floor in another one of the upstairs bedrooms. Originally I'd thought it was a vent that they'd hope would bring at least a little cold air into that room, but doesn't really seem to do much of anything. Now I'm wondering of it might be another return, but would they install a second return on the second floor, and in the floor rather than the wall? I'd think something that took in air would allow a lot of excess dirt and dust if installed in the floor rather than vertically in a wall, so don't know why they'd do it that way. But again, I know very little about the intricacies involved with an HVAC system. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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