Caring for your furnace can go a long way in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and essential, ways to maintain your furnace lies in switching out your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter can contribute to a variety of negative problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are every 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 normally need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters should be swapped out every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to change your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, consider changing your home’s air filter more often to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Inevitably this will change depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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- Open or remove 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 small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to pull down one end of the filter and remove it from the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.