Caring for your furnace can go a long way in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and critical, ways to care for your furnace lies in replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter may contribute to a variety of unfavorable issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills month after 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 typically need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters ought to be changed every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to change your filter more often because of pet dander. If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more regularly to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. More than likely, 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 reveal 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 small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to pull down 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 shows you the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.