Caring for your furnace can help more than you’d think in the time 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 filthy air filter may contribute to a host of unfavorable concerns 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 switch out 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 need to be replaced every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to change your filter more often as a result 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 often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will vary 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 expose 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 little 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 putting in the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to be sure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.