Caring for your furnace can help more than you’d think in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and crucial, ways to care for your furnace lies in changing your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter can contribute to a host of negative concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are month after month.
So what goes in to determining when you should switch out 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 switched out every month and 3 inch filters should be changed every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to switch out your filter more often due to pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, think about changing 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 vary depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or remove the air filter panel close to 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 lips.
- 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 indicates the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.