Maintaining your furnace can help quite a bit in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and essential, ways to take care of your furnace is in changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter can contribute to a variety of negative problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are each month.
So what goes in to determining 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 usually need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters need to be swapped out every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to switch out your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more frequently to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Inevitably this will change depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or pull off the air filter panel near the bottom of your furnace to uncover an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you will find your furnace filter 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 take it out of the compartment.
- When installing the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to be sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.