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 crucial, ways to care for 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 you’re spending on your energy bills every month.
So what goes in to determining 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 changed every month and 3 inch filters need to be replaced every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- 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 has allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more frequently to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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- Open or pull off the air filter panel around the bottom of your furnace to reveal an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where your furnace filter is resting on two metal brackets.
- There will be a little space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to bring down one end of the filter and pull it out of the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In most cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.