Does it Matter if Furnace Filter is Backwards?

Find out what happens when an AC or furnace filter is installed backwards - increased energy costs & potential damage! Learn how proper installation helps.

Does it Matter if Furnace Filter is 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 lifespan. An AC filter installed upside down will greatly slow down airflow, making it more difficult for your oven to operate.

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

Oven filters

are designed so that air flows in one direction through the filter media. This helps prevent dust from accumulating on the blowers and motors inside the furnace. 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. 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 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. The evaporator coil is basically a snake-shaped refrigerant tube system in your air conditioning system, usually located at the top of the oven. They capture hazardous particles before they reach the oven equipment, and the airflow arrow should point towards the oven or fan motor. 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. When air starts to flow around the filter, it can make the system dirty, for example, putting a layer of dust on the evaporator coil.

When a technician arrives at your house, you can see how to install the filter so you can do it yourself next time. The same applies to central air conditioning units, which normally circulate air through an oven system. Air filters have arrows printed on them that show how they are supposed to be installed. Air passes through these filters which (depending on their type) trap dust, dirt, and other airborne contaminants. If you install them in reverse direction, air will struggle to flow through them and your air handler will have to work overtime to compensate for this loss of airflow. The accumulated dust can make your oven more inefficient over time and can also cause major problems down the line.

Fortunately, most filters are designed not to fit clearly unless they are positioned correctly. Keep in mind that filters only get dirty when your oven is running so if you check them in a vacation home that you only visit a couple of times a year for example replacing them may not be necessary every month.

Amanda Boose
Amanda Boose

Freelance coffee advocate. Evil social media advocate. Hardcore internet trailblazer. Avid twitteraholic. Passionate tv aficionado.

Leave Reply

All fileds with * are required