When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter

December 01, 2015

Caring for your furnace can go a long way in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and critical, 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 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 usually need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be swapped out every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
  • Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to change your filter more often because of pet dander. If someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, think about 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 change depending on what furnace you have, but normally: 

  • 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 your furnace filter is resting on two metal brackets.
  • 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 pull it out of the compartment.
  • When putting in the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to make sure 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. 
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ll replace standard one-inch furnace filters as part of our regular furnace service Precision Tune-up or PLUS Maintenance Agreement service. Give us a call today at or arrange an appointment with us online.