Caring for your furnace can help more than you’d think in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and critical, ways to maintain your furnace is by replacing your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter could contribute to a number of negative 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 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 typically 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 someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more often to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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- Open or remove the air filter panel near the bottom of your furnace to reveal an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you will find your furnace filter resting on two metal supports.
- There will be a little space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to bring down one end of the filter and remove it from the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to be sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.