Maintaining your furnace can help quite a bit in the months 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 clogged air filter can contribute to a variety of negative 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 normally need to be switched out 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 change your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to change your furnace filter. More than likely, this will differ 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 expose an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where your furnace filter is 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 installing the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to make sure 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.