When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter
Caring for your furnace can help quite a bit in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and essential, ways to take care of your furnace is by replacing your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter could contribute to a number of unfavorable issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are month after month.
So what goes in to determining 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 typically need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters need to be changed every three months, based on the recommendations of the filter company.
- Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to change your filter more often due to pet dander. If you have someone in the house that has allergies or asthma, think about switching out 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. Inevitably this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but usually:
- Open or pull 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 your furnace filter is resting on two metal supports.
- 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 take it out of the compartment.
- When adding the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to ensure you’re installing the filter in the right direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace.