When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter

December 01, 2015

Maintaining your furnace can go a long way in the period in between furnace service appointments. One of the most basic, and critical, ways to care for your furnace is in changing your furnace filter. Having a dirty air filter can contribute to a variety of adverse issues for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much you’re spending on your energy bills month after 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 ought to be swapped out 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 someone in your family deals with allergies or asthma, consider replacing your home’s air filter more frequently to help ease their symptoms.

Now you’re likely wondering how to swap out your furnace filter. Inevitably this will change depending on what furnace you have, but normally: 

  • Open or pull off the air filter panel close to the bottom of your furnace to reveal 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 pull it out of the compartment.
  • When adding the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies the air flow direction, to be 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. 
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ll replace 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 schedule an appointment with us online.