Taking care of your furnace can go a long way in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and critical, ways to take care of your furnace is by switching out your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter may contribute to a variety of negative problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are each month.
So what goes in to deciding 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 normally need to be changed 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 switch out your filter more often due to pet dander. If you have someone in the house that has allergies or asthma, think about changing your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to change your furnace filter. Inevitably this will change 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 reveal an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you’ll see your furnace filter 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 take it out of the compartment.
- When installing the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.