How Do I Know Which Way To Install A Furnace Filter?

Changing your furnace filter regularly is important in keeping the air quality as good as possible. But did you know that, if you install it the wrong way, it won’t function as expected?

If you’re ready to change your furnace filter and are wondering which way it should be fitted, this guide will tell you everything you need to know. 

What Is A Furnace Filter And Why Do I Need One?

If you have a HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system in your home then you’ll need to regularly replace your furnace filter. These systems collect air from the surrounding environment using a blower motor. This air is then cooled or heated and sent back into the home to regulate the temperature and conditions. 

Furnace filters are an important part of any HVAC system as they remove any impurities before the air is filtered back into the home. This reduces problems with allergies, breathing difficulties and any other problems that may be exacerbated by poor air quality. 

If you do not change your filter regularly then it won’t perform as expected and things like pet dander, dust and allergens will be free to circulate your home. 

How Often Should I Replace My Furnace Filter?

How often you have to change your furnace filter will depend on several things. These include whether you have pets in the home and how many people live there. 

However, on average, you would expect to have to replace the filter around once every 90 days. 

Which Way To Install A Furnace Filter

When you purchase a new furnace filter, you will notice that there is an arrow on it. This tells you the correct direction for airflow and helps you determine which way the filter should be installed. 

Make sure that when you install the filter, the arrow is facing towards the furnace and not towards the return duct. 

It can be helpful to draw an arrow on the furnace to show the correct installation direction so that when it comes to changing the filter again in future, you aren’t left scratching your head. I’d also recommend marking the new filter with the date it was installed so you can ensure that you stick to regular changes. 

How To Change Your Furnace Filter

Now that you’re confident in installing your furnace filter in the right direction, I’ve put together some helpful tips to make the entire process easy.

  • You’ll need to start by locating your filter. In a lot of cases, it can be found next to the furnace and is installed where the furnace and ductwork meet.
  • Once you have located the filter air box, take the old filter out and throw this away. 
  • Follow the above advice for installing the new filter in the correct direction and simply slide it in.

How To Choose The Right Furnace Filter

Not all HVAC systems are the same and no two homeowners are the same so it would be ridiculous to assume that there is a one size fits all when it comes to furnace filters. Depending on the needs of your household, a one inch filter could be more than sufficient. However, you might need something with higher filtration if there are a lot of allergy sufferers in your family. 

Of course, one of the first things to check is the furnace owner’s manual. This will give you specific information on the correct sized filter for your system. It will also tell you whether there are any limits on the type and size of filter you can use as well as any other requirements. 

You’ll want to think about the material from which the filter is made. There are some that feature a crisscross pattern and these tend to be a lot less expensive. However, in line with this, they aren’t as effective so probably wouldn’t be suitable for those with severe allergies or households that have pets.

When choosing a furnace filter, I’d also recommend taking a look at the level of airflow. If this isn’t correct then the HVAC system isn’t going to perform properly and if the filter gets clogged, this can result in more long term problems for your system. 

Furnace filters usually come with a rating that tells you how effectively that particular filter will remove impurities from the air. Take this into consideration when you’re choosing one that’s right for you.

Final Thoughts

Your HVAC system will not perform properly if it does not have a working filter. You should aim to change your filter around every 90 days although this does depend on the size of the home and how many occupants there are as well as whether you have pets. 

When it comes to changing the furnace filter, there will be an indicator arrow showing you which way it needs to be installed. The filter should face the furnace and not the return duct. 

Once you’ve changed your furnace filter for the first time, mark the furnace with an arrow to make it easier next time. Before long, this will be something you can do with your eyes closed. 

Driveway Expert