Caring for your furnace can go a long way in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and critical, ways to care for your furnace is in changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter can contribute to a number of negative issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are each month.
So what goes in to consideration 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 usually need to be changed every month and 3 inch filters need to be replaced every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to switch out your filter more often because of pet dander. If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, contemplate changing your home’s air filter more regularly to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Inevitably this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or remove 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 lips.
- 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 pull it out of the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.