Maintaining your furnace can help more than you’d think in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and essential, ways to maintain your furnace is in switching out your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a variety of adverse problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are month after 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 typically need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be swapped out every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to replace your filter more often due to pet dander. If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, contemplate replacing 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 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 uncover 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 bring 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 ensure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In most cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.