When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter

December 01, 2015

Maintaining your furnace can help quite a bit in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the easiest, and essential, ways to maintain your furnace is in replacing your furnace filter. Having a clogged air filter could contribute to a variety of unfavorable problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are month after month.

So what goes in to deciding 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 changed every month and 3 inch filters ought to be changed every three months, dependent on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
  • Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to switch out your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, think about changing your home’s air filter more regularly to help potentially decrease their symptoms.

Now you’re probably wondering how to replace your furnace filter. Inevitably this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but normally: 

  • Open or pull off the air filter panel around the bottom of your furnace to expose an open compartment.
  • On the top of that open compartment is where your furnace filter is resting on two metal lips.
  • There will be a little 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 putting in the new filter, look at the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that shows you the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the correct direction. In nearly all cases, the arrow should point to the main part (or top) of the furnace. 
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ll change out standard one-inch furnace filters as part of our regular furnace service Precision Tune-up or PLUS Maintenance Agreement service. Give us a call today at or arrange an appointment with us online.