What Happens When You Put Your Air Filter in Backwards?

Installing an air filter upside down can have serious consequences for your HVAC system. By installing the filter the wrong way, air will have more difficulty flowing through the filter and your air handler will have to work harder to compensate for the loss of airflow. This could lead to higher utility bills and possibly damage your oven or air conditioner. The biggest damage that can result from a filter installed upside down is that it can damage your HVAC system and reduce its lifespan. When efficiency decreases, the likelihood of a system failure, such as a refrigerant line leak or a failed compressor, increases.

The most common problem you'll face with a rear-facing filter is simple inefficiency. If the oven is forced to blow air through the non-porous end of a filter, more energy will be needed to do so. The blower will overwork and you'll pay more money for your heating. The same goes doubly with an air conditioner that has several filters in place to keep outside contaminants out of the indoor air. So what happens if the air filter is improperly installed? Air filters are built to be installed in a certain direction.

Installing the air filter backwards can restrict airflow through the air cleaner, cause the filter structure to fail, and allow dust, dirt, and other debris to pass through the filter and accumulate on the evaporator coil. If the evaporator coil becomes dirty, the system will not operate at optimal efficiency and could clog the condensate discharge line and cause the system to fail. The biggest problem with installing an air filter upside down is that the oven has to work harder to do its job. One side of the filter is more porous than the other. A furnace or central air unit that has to draw air through the non-porous side of a filter loses efficiency and runs longer, requiring more energy because it slows down the flow of air through the heat exchanger, according to Bob Vila.

The result is an increase in your utility bill and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system. The most common problem you will have if you have an improperly installed filter is decreased efficiency. Since the filter is designed to be efficient when installed in one way only, installing it incorrectly will make your system inefficient. One side of the filter is more porous to allow more air to flow freely. Therefore, when installing a filter backwards it would mean that your oven has to work harder to get the results you want. This will result in higher utility bills and may cause damage to your oven.

You won't feel the effects of this at first, but this inefficiency can build up and lead to furnace system breakage and further repairs. If you insert the filter backwards, the result is that the air will have more difficulty passing through the filter. If you install it backwards, your air handler will have to work harder to compensate for the lack of airflow. If you have a ceiling or wall air return that uses a filter, the filter arrow will point to the ceiling or wall. New homeowners or renters who don't understand their HVAC system well may have problems with this simple step of properly orienting their filter. If there is no instruction sheet, then the filter itself would have arrow indicators to indicate which direction of airflow should be used.

Both sides may look similar but manufacturers make filters so that air flows in one direction efficiently. If you remember that the arrow should always point towards your oven heating compartment, then you don't have to worry about which way to install your filter or which side of it should go up or down. Installing an oven or AC filter upside down is easy if you don't understand how return versus supply side HVAC loops work. Some downflow ovens have a V-shaped filter system and need two filters placed in their compartment at a V-shaped angle. For optimal indoor air quality and efficiency near Coachella Valley, just make sure your air filters are installed correctly. If an oven filter is installed upside down, then its fibers won't properly filter out airborne particles which can eventually damage your unit. If you reverse direction and install an oven filter upside down, then you run the risk of some things like: The oven draws cold air from inside your house, heats it through a heat exchanger, then blows warm air back into living space; The supply side are smaller branch ducts that supply air into your house through vents; An air cleaner or purifier is a device used with HVAC systems that helps remove contaminants from inside air; Airflow arrows should be printed on side of cleaner showing how to install it.