Taking care of your furnace can help quite a bit in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and crucial, ways to care for your furnace is by changing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter may contribute to a number of adverse concerns 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 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 changed 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 might make sense to replace your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member has allergies or asthma, think about changing your home’s air filter more frequently to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Obviously this will differ depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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- Open or take 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 your furnace filter is resting on two metal lips.
- 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 putting in the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.