Taking care of your furnace can help quite a bit in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and critical, ways to maintain your furnace is in replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter may contribute to a host of adverse problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are each 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 normally 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 company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to replace your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member deals with allergies or asthma, contemplate switching out your home’s air filter more often to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. More than likely, 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 uncover 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 little 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 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 right direction. In most cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.