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Is there such a thing as installing the furnace filter wrong?

morconnect - placing a filter properly

Usually, first-time homeowners would make this mistake since they do not know the ins and outs of their furnace system. However, even experienced homeowners may accidentally be damaging their furnaces with this common mistake. You might ask “It’s just a filter. How can I install it wrong?”. Surprisingly, there is a wrong way of installing your furnace filter. Both sides might look the same but filter manufacturers make the filters so that air goes in one direction efficiently. The fibers of the filter can let the air flow efficiently while trapping the harmful particles. The filters are important in letting your furnace work perfectly in your home. If you did not install them properly, it can cause damage to your furnace in the long run. Possible issues that can be caused by installing your furnace filter inaccurately include:

Efficiency takes a hit
Efficiency takes a hit - morconnect

The most common issue that you will have if you have an incorrectly installed filter is lowered efficiency. Since the filter is designed to be efficient when installed in one-way, installing it incorrectly will make your system inefficient. One side of your filter is actually more porous to let more air flow freely. So when a filter installed backward would mean your furnace has to work harder to deliver the results that you want. This will result in higher utility bills and it may lead to damage to your furnace. You won’t feel the effects of this at first but this inefficiency can build up and could result in a broken furnace system and more repairs.

Air Quality takes a dive
morconnect Air Quality takes a dive

One side of your filter is used to trap harmful particles in your system. By installing your filter inaccurately, the system that removes the dust and other particles are collected will not work. This is a major health hazard for all residents and can be especially harmful to children. You can have an air purifier to help with the dust but this is only a temporary solution and will not improve the overall air quality in your home. Accumulated dust can result in making your furnace more inefficient over time and can also lead to the next bigger problem below.

You may find Mold Growing In Your Home
morconnect - You may find Mold Growing In Your Home

Increased dust in your home may lead to mold growing in your home. Dust is essentially food for mold. Mold only needs 3 things to grow, a food source (dust), humidity (a by-product of your HVAC system), and darkness (vents are dark). All 3 can be found if you have an improperly installed furnace filter. Mold is not only bad for your health but can also damage the structure of your home. It must be stressed that furnace filters are your first line of defense against this potential health hazard to your family.

Shortens your furnace’s lifespan
morconnect - Shortens your furnace’s lifespan

With the blocked airflow and the accumulated dust and/or mold, your furnace will work harder to maintain the comfort level that you want. This increased usage of your furnace can lead to short cycling. Short cycling basically means that your furnace is turning off by itself because it is overheated from the extra work it has to do. On older furnaces, this can be a fire hazard. Aside from being a fire hazard, short cycling can shorten the lifespan of your furnace system. The shorter life span for your furnace means more repairs, less efficiency, and ultimately replacement of your furnace.

Correct Installation Of Your Filter
morconnect - Correct Installation Of Your Filter

Most filters usually come with an instruction sheet. If there is no instruction sheet present, the filter itself would have arrow indicators to point the direction of the airflow. The arrows must be pointed towards your furnace for the filter to be installed correctly. You can contact the experts at MorConnect to ensure that your filter will always be pointing in the right direction. When the technician arrives at your home you can watch how he installs your filter so that you can do it yourself next time. The MorConnect team is also happy to install your furnace filter every time too if you are not confident enough to install it yourself.

Having a correctly installed filter is crucial not only to your wallet but to your family’s health as well. The MorConnect team will be more than happy to help you if have any questions about your furnace or HVAC system. The team will also be happy to install your filters any time and to teach you how to correctly install them if you wish to do it yourself in the future.