Caring for your furnace can help quite a bit in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and crucial, ways to take care of your furnace is in changing 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 expenses are every month.
So what goes in to deciding 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 replaced every month and 3 inch filters should be changed every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to switch out your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If you have someone in the house that deals with allergies or asthma, contemplate replacing your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.
Now you’re possibly wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Obviously this will change depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
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- Open or remove the air filter panel close to the bottom of your furnace to expose 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 small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to bring down one end of the filter and remove it from the compartment.
- When installing the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In most cases, the arrow should point towards the main part (or top) of the furnace.