Taking care of your furnace can help quite a bit in the time in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to care for your furnace lies in switching out your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter may contribute to a variety of negative concerns for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses 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 typically need to be changed every month and 3 inch filters should be swapped out every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter maker.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it might make sense to change your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that suffers from allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more frequently to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re likely wondering how to change your furnace filter. Obviously this will vary 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 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 bring down one end of the filter and pull it out of the compartment.
- When putting in 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 proper direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.