Caring for your furnace can help more than you’d think in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and critical, ways to take care of your furnace is by changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a host of adverse concerns 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 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 replaced every month and 3 inch filters should be changed every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to switch out your filter more often because of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more regularly to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will change 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 your furnace filter is resting on two metal supports.
- There will be a bit of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to bring down one end of the filter and remove it from the compartment.
- When installing 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 to the main part (or top) of the furnace.