Caring for your furnace can go a long way in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and critical, ways to care for your furnace lies in changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a number of adverse concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills every 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 changed every month and 3 inch filters should be changed 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 switch out 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 replacing your home’s air filter more frequently to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Obviously this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or take off the air filter panel close to 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 supports.
- There will be a small amount 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 installing the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.