Maintaining your furnace can go a long way in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and essential, ways to take care of your furnace lies in changing your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter could contribute to a number of unfavorable issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills 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 typically need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters should be changed every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to switch out your filter more often due to pet dander. If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, consider changing your home’s air filter more frequently to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Obviously this will vary 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 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 putting in 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 correct direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.