Taking care of your furnace can help more than you’d think in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and crucial, ways to care for your furnace is in changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could contribute to a host of negative problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills every month.
So what goes in to consideration 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 normally need to be changed every month and 3 inch filters ought to be swapped out every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to change your filter more often due to pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, think about replacing your home’s air filter more regularly to help with their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to change your furnace filter. Inevitably this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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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 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 remove it from the compartment.
- When putting in the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to be sure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.