Maintaining your furnace can go a long way in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and crucial, ways to maintain your furnace is by changing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter could contribute to a variety of unfavorable problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are every month.
So what goes in to deciding when you should switch out 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 ought to be replaced 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 because of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, think about changing your home’s air filter more often to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to change your furnace filter. More than likely, this will change 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 uncover an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you’ll see your furnace filter 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 remove it from the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.