Maintaining your furnace can help quite a bit in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and crucial, ways to care for your furnace is by switching out your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter may contribute to a host of adverse problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are each month.
So what goes in to determining when you should replace 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 changed every month and 3 inch filters should be replaced every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to replace your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member deals with allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more frequently to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to replace your furnace filter. More than likely, this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or pull off the air filter panel near the bottom of your furnace to reveal an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you’ll see 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 pull it out of the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to make sure 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.