When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter

December 01, 2015

Caring for your furnace can help more than you’d think in the time 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 unfavorable issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills 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 usually need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters should be replaced every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
  • 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 a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, think about replacing your home’s air filter more regularly to help with their symptoms.

Now you’re possibly wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but usually: 

  • Open or take off the air filter panel around the bottom of your furnace to uncover 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 bit of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to pull down one end of the filter and take it out of the compartment.
  • When adding the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to ensure 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. 
At Neal Harris Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we’ll replace standard one-inch furnace filters as part of our regular furnace service Precision Tune-up or PLUS Maintenance Agreement service. Give us a call today at or arrange an appointment with us online.