How to Properly Install a Furnace Air Filter

Replacing the air filter in your furnace is not a difficult task, but it is important to make sure that it is done correctly. The filter should always be installed with the arrow pointing towards the oven, as this indicates the direction of airflow. If you are looking at an oven filter, look for the arrow that indicates the correct direction of airflow. This arrow should always face the furnace and away from the return duct that carries the air that needs to be heated or cooled.

Clogged air filters can cause significant damage to your HVAC system. Dirt on the filter prevents air from flowing through the unit, leading to overheating and malfunction. Replacing air filters regularly can significantly extend the life of your system. To make things easier, make sure that the arrows on the air cleaner point in the same direction as the arrows on the air handler.

When air filters become clogged with dust, dirt, and debris, they can no longer do their job of improving the indoor air you breathe. Dirty air filters also force your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to, reducing equipment life and increasing your energy bills. You may also notice that the air conditioning unit shuts down before it reaches the temperature set on the thermostat, a decrease in return duct air pressure, or cool air blowing when it should be warm and vice versa. Signs of a clogged air filter include a decline in energy efficiency, which you'll notice on your next utility bill.

Try not to shake or hit the old filter, as this could release the particles back into the air in your home. When installing a new filter, make sure that it is installed in the correct direction. With an upflow oven, the filter will be located near the bottom of the unit in the blower compartment next to the cold air return. Slide the new filter inward with the arrow pointing towards the oven system and away from the return duct of the oven filters.

If you install it in the opposite location from what it should be, your HVAC system will be subject to unnecessary wear and tear. A high-rated oven filter can reduce airflow too much, but a low-efficiency filter doesn't filter dust very well. An upflow oven is installed upright, higher than it is wide, and takes air through the side or bottom of the unit, heats it up in the heat exchanger, and then blows it up into your home ducts. The air cleaner is located somewhere inside, either inside the air duct system or inside the indoor HVAC unit itself.

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