Changing the air filter on your furnace is not a difficult task, but one that needs to be done a regular basis. The disposable cheaper filters (EZ flow brand $1 each) last approximately 1-2 months. A higher quality 3M filter costs about $20 and lasts roughly 2-3 months. There are also non disposable air filters that are washable, and you should clean wash those every month.
How to Find the Right Size Filter
Find the right size by writing down the model number of your furnace, and then, when you are searching for the air filter in a store or online, make sure the model number is listed on the specific air filter. That way you know it was designed to fit in your furnace. On many occasions, all that is needed is the dimensions of the air filter.
Installing your Air Filter
This may sound simplistic, but follow the directions! Also, be sure to us the arrows commonly found on the filters when you install it in order to get the best performance possible.
Once you install one filter, you will understand how easy it is to do. So, stay on top of replacing them! When they are dirty, all the air in your house is passed through an unclean screen (see below for an example).
Why is it important to change Your Air Filter?
The most obvious reason is that these handy products filter the air that you and your family breathes. That is reason enough to stay on top of regularly changing them, but a clean air filter can also help maintain airflow in heating and cooling systems. This helps to lessen the stress on the system and reduce the amount of energy needed to reach your preferred indoor air temperatures.
So, there you have it. Changing your air filters keeps the air you breathe more healthy, and reduces your energy bill!
Image courtesy of FLickr User Ivy Dawned