Caring for your furnace can go a long way in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to take care of your furnace lies in switching out your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter may contribute to a variety of adverse problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy expenses are month after month.
So what goes in to consideration when you should change 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 changed every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it may make sense to replace your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, consider switching out your home’s air filter more regularly to help ease their symptoms.
Now you’re probably wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Obviously this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but normally:
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- Open or pull 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 take it out of the compartment.
- When installing the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point at the main part (or top) of the furnace.