Maintaining your furnace can help more than you’d think in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and essential, ways to take care of your furnace is in replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter can contribute to a number of negative issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills each month.
So what goes in to deciding 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 normally need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters should be swapped out every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter company.
- 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 you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, think about replacing your home’s air filter more frequently to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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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 will find your furnace filter resting on two metal brackets.
- 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, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.