Caring for your furnace can go a long way in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and crucial, ways to take care of your furnace lies in replacing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter may contribute to a variety 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 should be swapped out every three months, depending on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to change your filter more often because of pet dander. If a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Inevitably 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 reveal an open compartment.
- On the top of that open compartment is where you will find your furnace filter resting on two metal brackets.
- 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, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.