Caring for your furnace can help more than you’d think in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to maintain your furnace is by switching out your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter may contribute to a number of negative concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are each month.
So what goes in to determining when you should replace 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 should be replaced every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to replace your filter more often because of pet dander. If a family member has allergies or asthma, contemplate changing your home’s air filter more regularly to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Inevitably this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or pull 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 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 remove one end of the filter and pull it out of the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.