Taking care of your furnace can help quite a bit in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and essential, ways to take care of your furnace is in switching out your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter can contribute to a number 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 consideration 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 should be replaced every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter company.
- 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 deals with allergies or asthma, think about replacing your home’s air filter more frequently to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Inevitably this will change depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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- Open or take off the air filter panel near the bottom of your furnace to expose an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you’ll see 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 remove one end of the filter and remove it from the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to be sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.