Caring for your furnace can help quite a bit in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and essential, ways to care for your furnace is by replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a variety of negative problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills each month.
So what goes in to determining when you should switch out your furnace filter?
- Type of filter: the two most common filter sizes are 1 inch and 3 inch filters. 1 inch filters usually need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be swapped out every three months, dependent 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 a family member has 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. Obviously this will change 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 uncover 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 bit of 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 putting in the new filter, check 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.