Maintaining your furnace can help more than you’d think in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and critical, ways to take care of your furnace is in switching out your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter could contribute to a number of negative problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are every month.
So what goes in to deciding 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 typically need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be replaced every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may 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 frequently to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. More than likely, this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or pull off the air filter panel near 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 little space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to remove one end of the filter and remove it from 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 the majority of cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.