Taking care of your furnace can go a long way in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to care for your furnace is by changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a variety of negative issues 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 typically need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters should be replaced every three months, based 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 due to pet dander. If you have someone in the house that has allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more regularly to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Inevitably 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 uncover an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where your furnace filter is 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 pull it out of the compartment.
- When installing the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates 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.