Maintaining your furnace can go a long way in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and critical, ways to care for your furnace lies in replacing your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter could contribute to a number of negative concerns 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 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 ought to be swapped out every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to switch out your filter more often due to pet dander. If you have someone in the house that suffers from allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more often to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to change your furnace filter. More than likely, this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or remove the air filter panel around the bottom of your furnace to uncover 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 bit of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to remove one end of the filter and take it out of the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In most cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.