Taking care of your furnace can help quite a bit in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and crucial, ways to take care of your furnace lies in switching out your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter could contribute to a variety of negative concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills month after month.
So what goes in to deciding 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 usually need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be swapped out every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might 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 regularly to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. More than likely, this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or remove 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 will find 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 putting in the new filter, check 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 nearly all cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.