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 lies in switching out your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter may contribute to a number of negative concerns 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 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 typically need to be changed every month and 3 inch filters should 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 replace your filter more often because of pet dander. If a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, contemplate changing your home’s air filter more regularly to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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- Open or pull off the air filter panel around the bottom of your furnace to reveal an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where your furnace filter is 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 towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.