Caring for your furnace can help quite a bit in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and essential, ways to maintain your furnace is in switching out your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter can contribute to a number of adverse concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills each month.
So what goes in to determining 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 usually need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be replaced every three months, dependent 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 because of pet dander. If someone in your family has allergies or asthma, contemplate switching out your home’s air filter more frequently to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. More than likely, this will change depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or remove the air filter panel close to the bottom of your furnace to uncover an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where your furnace filter is resting on two metal supports.
- 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 remove it from the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In most cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.