When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter

December 01, 2015

Caring for your furnace can help more than you’d think in the months in between furnace service appointments. One of the simplest, and crucial, ways to care for your furnace lies in replacing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter could contribute to a number of negative 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 replace 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, depending on the recommendations of the filter company.
  • Home habits: if you have pets in your home, it could make sense to replace your filter more often due to pet dander. If a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, contemplate changing your home’s air filter more often to help potentially decrease their symptoms.

Now you’re likely wondering how to replace your furnace filter. More than likely, this will vary depending on what furnace you have, but typically: 

  • Open or pull off the air filter panel around 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 lips.
  • There will be a small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to remove one end of the filter and take it out of the compartment.
  • When putting in the new filter, check the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that indicates the air flow direction, to make sure you’re installing the filter in the proper direction. In the majority of cases, the arrow should point at 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 schedule an appointment with us online.