Maintaining your furnace can go a long way in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and critical, ways to care for your furnace lies in changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter can contribute to a host of negative concerns 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 typically need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters need to be changed every three months, depending 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 as a result of pet dander. If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more regularly to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to swap out 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 around the bottom of your furnace to uncover an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where your furnace filter is resting on two metal lips.
- 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 take it out of the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, check 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 proper direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.