How Do I Replace My Furnace Filter?

December 14, 2020

Replacing your furnace filter regularly is the #1 thing you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly, cut down repair costs, and of course, improve your indoor air quality.

Your furnace filter works to trap dust, lint, pet hair, and other airborne particles so that they don’t clog up your furnace. When the airflow is restricted by a clogged filter the furnace will overheat, because it has to work harder, putting stress on the motor as well as the furnace electronics.


How to Tell When it’s Time to Replace Your Filter

The general rule that we use is that you should be changing your filter every 3-4 months. Some homes have washable furnace filters, which should follow the same schedule – wash it every 3-4 months. You may want to replace your filter more often if you have any furry pets that shed, since pet hair can clog up the filter.

It’s always a good idea to make sure that you keep a supply of replacement filters on hand, and put the “Replace Furnace Filter” dates in your calendar so that you don’t forget (Sept 1, Dec 1, Mar 1, June 1 is a good rule of thumb). It also helps to write the date on the side of the filter itself so that you know the last time you changed it.


How do I tell which Furnace Filter I Need?

The furnace filter is not located inside the furnace itself, it is located in a filter cabinet that is attached to the furnace or furnace ducting, so reading your furnace manual won’t always tell you what size or type of filter you need.

The easiest way to determine which furnace filter you need is to remove the existing one and find a matching one. (That is, assuming that the one you currently have is a nice snug fit in the filter cabinet. If your current filter is too small to fill the cabinet, or it is too big and is squished inside, you need to measure the internal dimensions of the cabinet and get the proper size filter.)


How to Replace Your Furnace Filter

Changing your furnace filter is quick and easy once you have bought your proper replacement filter. Simply follow these steps:

1. First things first, turn off your furnace.( The on/off switch for the furnace looks like a typical light switch near the furnace.)

2. Open the filter cabinet panel (there is usually a metal access panel right beside, under, or above the furnace itself).

Opening furnace filter cabinet.

3. Firmly pull on the filter and slide it out, noting which direction the arrows are pointing.

Removing dirty furnace filter.

4. Slide the new filter in place with the airflow direction arrows pointing towards the furnace

5. Put the cover panel for the filter cabinet back in place.

Filter cabinet back in place.

6. Turn your furnace back on.

Replacing your filter regularly is an important part of your furnace maintenance, and so is getting it serviced annually by a certified gas fitter. An experienced technician will keep your furnace running safely and ensure that your home is cozy and warm.

If it’s time for your furnace to get its annual tune-up, give us a call at 604-531-4355.

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John Sadler Plumbing & Heating

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