How to Properly Install an Air Filter

Learn how to properly install an air filter for optimal performance of your HVAC system.

How to Properly Install an Air Filter

Replacing the air filter is not a difficult task. It is important to remember that air flows from your ducts, through the filter and into the oven. The arrow on the filter should always point towards the oven. If the filter is on the wall, the arrow should face the wall.

Doesn't the filter have an arrow? First check it again, since almost all filters have it, probably in the corner of one of the sides. However, if you don't find an arrow, you'll want the side with the wire frame to face outward. This means that the side with the wire frame will be on the outside, or the side closest to you, and the side without it will be inside, closer to the unit. Fortunately, most air filters are designed in such a way that they won't fit properly unless they are inserted correctly. Look for the airflow arrows printed on the side of the air cleaner that indicate in which direction the filter should be inserted.

It is shown in the image below. Air filters have arrows printed on their sides that show how they are supposed to be installed. These arrows should point in the direction in which air flows through the system, which is away from the supply ducts and (normally) to the blower. Be careful when removing the old air filter, as it has probably accumulated quite a lot of dust and other particles. HVAC systems expel hot or cold air and extract spent air, circulating air throughout your house.

Regardless of what type of HVAC system you have, each unit needs a properly tuned quality filter to keep indoor air quality clean and your unit operating at peak efficiency. If an oven filter is installed upside down, its fibers will not properly filter out air, which can eventually damage your unit. The next time you change your filter, make sure to match up with directions of arrows and voila! You have successfully changed your air filter. Running a filterless oven will allow dirt and dust to enter your oven and ultimately cause damage by clogging up its compressor coils. An upflow oven is installed upright, higher than it is wide, and takes air through its side or bottom of its unit, heats it up in its heat exchanger, and then blows it up into your home ducts.

Dirty air filters also force your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to, reducing its life expectancy and increasing your energy bills. When air filters become clogged with dust, dirt, and debris, they can no longer do their job of improving indoor air quality. Some downflow ovens have a V-shaped filter system and need two filters placed in their compartment at a V-shaped angle. Try not to shake or hit your old filter as this could release particles back into your home's air. We'll start from scratch and explain everything related to installing an air filter in each common type of HVAC system.

But in all types of furnaces, filters are always located near their intake air blower fan and are positioned so that air flows through them. Think of metal as a support that is placed behind filter media to maintain its rigidity as air passes through it. The next time you change your filter make sure you match up with directions of arrows for proper installation. This will ensure that your HVAC system runs efficiently and keeps indoor air quality clean.

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