We have repeatedly talked about the importance of keeping your HVAC system air filters clean to keep your HVAC unit operating properly. We have even discussed how critical airflow is in heating your home safely and comfortably. There is another aspect of airflow that will also greatly impact how your heating system operates. That is the proper installation of an air filter.

Hazards of Improper Air Filter Installation

A quick glance at a furnace air filter and you may not notice a difference. A furnace filter, however, has one side that allows it to “breath” fresh air through, while the other side traps dust and particles from the air. If improperly installed, the filter will inhibit air flow forcing your system to work harder. The result is not only a less efficient unit but could potentially damage your HVAC system.

Look for the Arrow

Generally, air filters are manufactured with arrows printed on the side, showing the proper direction of airflow. The confusion can come from understanding which direction the air flow is going into your system.

Air flows into your HVAC system from your supply ducts, usually larger rectangular shaped ductwork that is attached near the bottom of your HVAC unit. Air flows out of this ductwork into your HVAC system toward the blower. Therefore, when you replace your filter, the arrow on the side of the filter should point away from the ductwork toward your HVAC unit. We’ve produced a short, simple demonstration of the correct installation position of an air filter that you can view in less than 60 seconds.

While HVAC filters are inexpensive and should be replaced every month or so for maximum efficiency, if they are installed backward, they will cause improper airflow. You should also be aware that while “thicker” filters may trap more particulate matter, they too, can inhibit airflow. If you have any questions about the right filter for your system or the performance of your HVAC system, call us. We can schedule a thorough clean and check to give you peace of mind through the cold-weather season. Contact the indoor air professionals at Althoff Industries.

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