Maintaining your furnace can help quite a bit in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and critical, ways to take care of your furnace lies in switching out your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter may contribute to a host of adverse issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills every month.
So what goes in to determining when you should change 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, 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 because of pet dander. If a family member deals with allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to replace your furnace filter. More than likely, this will change depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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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 remove 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 shows you the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.