When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter

December 01, 2015

Maintaining your furnace can go a long way in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to maintain your furnace lies in switching out 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 every 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 normally need to be changed every month and 3 inch filters ought to be changed 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 switch out your filter more often because of pet dander. If a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, contemplate switching out your home’s air filter more frequently to help potentially decrease 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: 

  • Open or pull 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 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 bring down one end of the filter and take it out of the compartment.
  • When adding the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace. 
At Sunbeam Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ll change out standard one-inch furnace filters as part of our regular furnace service Precision Tune-up or PLUS Maintenance Agreement service. Give us a call today at or set up an appointment with us online.