Caring for 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 maintain your furnace is by replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter may contribute to a variety of adverse concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are 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 normally need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters should be swapped out 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 replace your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member deals with allergies or asthma, think about replacing your home’s air filter more often to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or remove the air filter panel near the bottom of your furnace to expose an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you’ll see your furnace filter resting on two metal supports.
- 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 putting in the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to be sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.