When and How to Change Your Furnace Filter

December 01, 2015

Taking care of 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 lies in replacing your furnace filter. Having a filthy air filter can contribute to a number of adverse problems for your heating and cooling system, its efficiency, and ultimately, how much your energy costs are every 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 normally need to be switched out every month and 3 inch filters need to be swapped out 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 change your filter more often as a result of pet dander. If a family member has allergies or asthma, think about switching out your home’s air filter more often to help with their symptoms.

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

  • Open or pull off the air filter panel near the bottom of your furnace to expose an open compartment.
  • On the top of that open compartment is where you’ll see your furnace filter resting on two metal lips.
  • There will be a small amount of space to move your filter back and forth that allows you to pull down one end of the filter and remove it from the compartment.
  • When adding the new filter, inspect the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that specifies 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. 
At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ll swap 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 set up an appointment with us online.