Caring for your furnace can go a long way in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and crucial, ways to take care of your furnace is by replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter may contribute to a host of adverse 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 typically need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters need to be replaced every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to change your filter more often because of pet dander. If a family member has allergies or asthma, think about replacing your home’s air filter more frequently to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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- Open or take off the air filter panel close to the bottom of your furnace to uncover 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 remove one end of the filter and pull it out of the compartment.
- When installing the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.