Maintaining your furnace can help quite a bit in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to maintain your furnace is by changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a host of unfavorable issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are month after month.
So what goes in to deciding 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 changed every month and 3 inch filters ought to be replaced every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to change your filter more often because of pet dander. If a family member has allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more often to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or take 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 will find your furnace filter resting on two metal lips.
- There will be a little 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 adding the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to be sure 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.