Caring for your furnace can go a long way 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 clogged 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 change your furnace filter?
- Type of filter: the two most common filter sizes are 1 inch and 3 inch filters. 1 inch filters normally need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be changed 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 due to pet dander. If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more often to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Inevitably this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but typically:
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- Open or take off the air filter panel around 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 pull down 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 correct direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.