Caring for 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 take care of your furnace is in replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter can contribute to a number of adverse problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are each month.
So what goes in to deciding when you should switch out 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 ought to be changed every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to change your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more frequently to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. More than likely, this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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- Open or pull off the air filter panel around 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 lips.
- There will be a small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to bring down one end of the filter and take it out of the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to ensure 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.