What Happens When You Put an Air Filter in Backwards?

Installing an air filter upside down can have serious consequences for your HVAC system. Air will have a harder time flowing through the filter, resulting in higher utility bills and possibly damaging your boiler or air conditioner. The biggest damage that can result from a filter installed upside down is that it can damage the HVAC system and reduce its life expectancy. An AC filter installed backwards will greatly slow down the flow of air, causing your oven to have more difficulty operating. When efficiency decreases, the likelihood of a system failure, such as a refrigerant line leak or a faulty compressor, increases.

The most common problem you face with a back-facing filter is simple inefficiency. If the oven is forced to blow air through the non-porous end of a filter, it will take more energy to do so. The blower will work too much and pay more money for its heating. The same is doubly true for an air conditioner that has multiple filters to keep outdoor pollutants out of the indoor air. So what happens if the air filter is improperly installed? Air filters are designed to be installed in a certain direction.

Installing the air filter backwards can restrict airflow through the filter, 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 optimum 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. An oven or central air unit that has to suck air through the non-porous side of a filter loses efficiency and works longer, requiring more energy because it slows 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 normally common end of the equipment will not face the air supply if you install the filter backwards. The oven filter helps to obtain cleaner air by preventing particles from entering. With overtime use, these particles accumulate and block the filter. This is when clean air begins to be replaced by bad air, since it does not filter properly. This is harmful to the lungs.

In this way, the filter fulfills its function of preventing dust from accumulating on the blowers and motors inside the oven. As the fan blows into the supply duct, it draws air through the return duct from inside the house. This means your oven has to work harder to generate the same airflow, resulting in increased energy costs. Well, as you can imagine, a thin surface of dust accumulates much faster than if the filter were installed in the correct orientation (first the side with larger holes). These filters will last for about 3 months, however, they may fail, causing the filter frame to bend or even bend in the return box.

Under the exhaust pressure of the blower fan, these filter structures will eventually fail over time, causing the cardboard filter frame to bend or even bend in the return box. It basically boils down to the fact that the filter was designed to be more porous when air first impinges on it (to trap larger particles) and less porous on its outlet side (to trap small dust particles).So, even though newer homes are more energy efficient, being airtight can be hazardous to health if pollutants get trapped inside. Also, if you look at where the filter is located, it comes from a side of duct where there is no HVAC component. The supply side is made up of smaller branch ducts that supply air to your home through ventilation grilles usually located in each room. The filter also cannot capture dust particles when air moves through it in reverse direction.

Filters also come in different grades allowing even finer particle collection for people with seasonal allergies. When there is a decrease in airflow and with short cycles of HVAC system, dust, pollen and dander particles may increase in indoor air.

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