Fall is here and winter is approaching. Your furnace is going to be working hard for you to keep you home warm over the coming months. If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to check your furnace filter to make sure it is clean. If it isn’t, install a new filter to ensure your system is running at its efficient best.
A Word on Furnace Filter Installation
Furnace filters are designed to be installed a certain way, meaning there’s a correct and incorrect way to install it. It’s all about airflow. While you may not be able to see it, one side of the filter is more porous than the other. When installed correctly, the filter is able to capture dust and other airborne particles while maximizing airflow. A filter that is installed backwards will clog more quickly and reduce airflow. This causes your blower motor to work overtime to distribute air throughout your home. This is going to cost you more in energy consumption and can also lead to premature failure of the blower motor and other components on the furnace.
Most filter manufacturers print on arrow on the filter to show the direction of airflow. This arrow should always point towards the furnace. A lot of HVAC installers will actually mark your duct work or the filter compartment to show the direction of airflow so there is no question about which way the filter should be installed. Just make sure that this handy guide has been marked correctly.
I was on one home inspection where the HVAC installer had marked the direction of airflow incorrectly. The homeowner, following the marked indicator, had then installed the filter backwards. I feel for that guy. He must have been having a bad day. We all have some of those.
In the rare case that a filter is not marked with an arrow to indicate the direction of airflow, call the manufacturer to get guidance. Better yet, buy a filter where this is clearly marked. There are plenty of good filter options out there where the arrow will take out all of the guesswork for you.
Strickland Home Inspections