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 is by 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 your energy costs are 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 typically need to be changed every month and 3 inch filters ought to be replaced every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to switch out your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member has allergies or asthma, contemplate switching out your home’s air filter more frequently to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Inevitably this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or pull off the air filter panel close to 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 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, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In most cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.