Taking care of your furnace can help more than you’d think in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and critical, ways to care for your furnace is in changing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter could contribute to a variety of adverse issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are month after month.
So what goes in to consideration 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 usually need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters need to be swapped out every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter company.
- 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 someone in your family has allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more frequently to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Inevitably this will change 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 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 bit of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to bring down one end of the filter and take it out of the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, check 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 correct direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.