What Happens When You Put a Furnace Filter in Wrong?

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 significantly impede airflow, making it difficult for your oven to operate.

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 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 be overworked and you will 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.

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. Dirty ducts will cause you to replace air filters sooner than you normally should. By installing the filter upside down, 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.

If you insert the filter backwards, the result is that air will have more difficulty passing through the filter if you install it backwards, so your air handler will have to work harder to compensate for the lack of airflow. In addition to looking at the direction arrows, all air filters are built in a certain way depending on what type of filter it is and how long it is designed to last. Air passes through the air filter, which (depending on the type of air filter you have) traps dust, dirt, and other airborne contaminants. 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. Therefore, be sure to look for the arrows that are printed on the sides of the filters because they show you in which direction they are supposed to be installed. 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.

It basically boils down to the fact that the filter was designed to be more porous when air first hits it (to trap larger particles) and less porous on its outlet side (to trap small dust particles). The airflow arrows should be printed on the side of the air cleaner to show how to install it correctly. Underneath exhaust pressure from your blower fan, these filter structures will eventually fail over time, causing its cardboard frame to bend or even break inside your return box. Regardless of which type is best for your individual HVAC system, it is important to change or clean your air filters frequently.