Taking care of your furnace can help more than you’d think in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and critical, ways to take care of your furnace is in replacing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter could contribute to a variety of adverse concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are every month.
So what goes in to consideration 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 replaced every month and 3 inch filters ought to be changed every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to change your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more frequently to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Inevitably this will change depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or remove 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 lips.
- There will be a bit of 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 make sure 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.