What Happens When You Put a Furnace Filter in Backwards?

When an oven filter is placed upside down, the fibers cannot do their job properly. This means that your oven has to work harder to generate the same airflow, resulting in increased energy costs. Particles are also allowed to accumulate unevenly, causing the oven to work even harder to extract air. The biggest damage that can result from a filter installed upside down is that it can damage your HVAC system and reduce its life expectancy. An AC filter installed upside down will greatly slow down airflow, your oven will have more difficulty operating.

When efficiency decreases, the likelihood of a system failure, such as a refrigerant line leak or a failed compressor, increases. 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.

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 most common problem you will face with a backward 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 pay more money for your heating. The same goes doubly with an air conditioner that has several filters in place to keep outdoor contaminants out of the indoor air. Airborne pollutants that could damage the internal components of an oven build up in the air in the home. Having an inverted HVAC filter can cause system damage, mold problems, poor indoor air quality, and other problems. This is because the AC filter is designed in a way that allows for even distribution of dust within the filter material rather than just on the surface. It all starts with understanding how your HVAC system works and making sure your air filters are properly installed and replaced on a regular basis.

Even with proper air filter maintenance, you should clean and repair your HVAC system at least once a year. The same applies to central air conditioning units, which normally circulate air through the oven system. Whether the oven filters are located in the plenum inside the oven cabinet or in the cold air return near the ceiling, the arrows should point toward the fan motor (the direction of air flow) when installed. Installing an oven or AC filter upside down is a breeze to do if you don't understand the return versus supply side HVAC loop. While turning the air filter upside down from time to time isn't likely to cause damage to the system, it can cost you money in efficiency. Air filters have direction arrows to indicate in which direction to install the air filter on the return.

The oven draws cold air from the house, heats it through a heat exchanger and returns the warm air to the living space. For the best indoor air quality and efficiency near Coachella Valley, just make sure your air filters are installed the right way. Most air cleaners have arrows printed on the sides that act as indicator marks pointing to the direction of airflow. Pleated filters have a support woven into the filter material, usually a metal or plastic cord that helps the filter withstand fan pressure.

Nina Siegwarth
Nina Siegwarth

Certified foodaholic. Incurable web specialist. Incurable web advocate. Friendly internet specialist. Evil music aficionado.

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