Taking care of your furnace can help more than you’d think in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and crucial, ways to take care of your furnace is in replacing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter could 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 consideration 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 typically need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters ought to be swapped out every three months, based 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 because of pet dander. If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, think about changing your home’s air filter more regularly to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously 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 reveal 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 bit of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to pull down one end of the filter and pull it out of the compartment.
- When installing the new filter, check 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 nearly all cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.