Taking care of your furnace can help quite a bit in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and essential, ways to take care of your furnace is by replacing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter may contribute to a number of unfavorable issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills each month.
So what goes in to determining 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 changed every month and 3 inch filters should be swapped out every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to replace your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more frequently to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to change your furnace filter. More than likely, this will vary 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 expose 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 small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to pull down one end of the filter and pull it out of the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.