Maintaining your furnace can go a long way in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and critical, ways to care for your furnace is in replacing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter can contribute to a host of negative issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are each 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 usually need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters need to be swapped out every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to replace your filter more often due to pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more regularly to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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- Open or remove 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’ll see your furnace filter resting on two metal lips.
- 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, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In most cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.