When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter

December 01, 2015

Maintaining your furnace can help more than you’d think in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and crucial, ways to take care of your furnace is in switching out your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter can contribute to a variety of adverse problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are each 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 need to be changed every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
  • Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to change your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, contemplate replacing your home’s air filter more often to help ease their symptoms.

Now you’re probably wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. More than likely, this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but typically: 

  • Open or pull off the air filter panel around the bottom of your furnace to expose an open compartment.
  • On the top of that open compartment is where you will find 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 pull it out of the compartment.
  • When installing 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 proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace. 
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ll replace standard one-inch furnace filters as part of our regular furnace service Precision Tune-up or PLUS Maintenance Agreement service. Give us a call today at or schedule an appointment with us online.