Taking care of your furnace can go a long way in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to care for your furnace is by replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a number of negative problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills month after month.
So what goes in to determining when you should switch out your furnace filter?
- Type of filter: the two most common filter sizes are 1 inch and 3 inch filters. 1 inch filters normally need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters need to be replaced every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to switch out your filter more often because of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that suffers from allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more regularly to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or take off the air filter panel close to the bottom of your furnace to reveal an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you will find your furnace filter resting on two metal supports.
- There will be a small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to pull down one end of the filter and remove it from the compartment.
- When installing the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.