Taking care of your furnace can help more than you’d think in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and critical, ways to take care of your furnace is in switching out your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter could contribute to a host of unfavorable issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are each 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 usually need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters should 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 change your filter more often because of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that has allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or pull 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 will find your furnace filter resting on two metal brackets.
- There will be a bit of 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 putting in the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.