Taking care of your furnace can help more than you’d think in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and essential, ways to care for your furnace lies in switching out your furnace filter. Having a dirty 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 month after month.
So what goes in to deciding when you should replace 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 need to be replaced every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to switch out your filter more often because of pet dander. If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, contemplate changing your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Obviously this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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- Open or remove the air filter panel near 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 supports.
- There will be a small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to remove 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 proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.