Taking care of your furnace can go a long way in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to care for your furnace lies in replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a variety of unfavorable concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills every month.
So what goes in to determining 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 swapped out every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to switch out your filter more often because of pet dander. If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more often to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. More than likely, this will change depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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- Open or take off the air filter panel around the bottom of your furnace to uncover an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you’ll see your furnace filter resting on two metal supports.
- There will be a little space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to bring down one end of the filter and pull it out of the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, inspect 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 most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.