Maintaining your furnace can go a long way in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and essential, ways to maintain your furnace is in switching out your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter can contribute to a number of adverse concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are month after month.
So what goes in to deciding 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 switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be changed every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to replace your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to change your furnace filter. More than likely, this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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- Open or remove 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 you will find your furnace filter resting on two metal brackets.
- 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 right direction. In most cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.