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 is by switching out your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter could contribute to a number of unfavorable problems 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 determining 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 need to be replaced every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to replace your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If a family member has allergies or asthma, think about changing your home’s air filter more regularly to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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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 your furnace filter is 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, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.