Get To Know Your Air Flow

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

It is probably true that on half the home inspections I do the filter is installed backwards.  It is important that the filter be installed the right way!  Why?  Because one side is stronger and meant to handle the air flow's pressure.  There is an arrow drawn on every filter to tell you the air flow direction.  Put in backwards, and as it gets loaded with dust, the filter can literally get sucked into the system and even cause damage to the fan.

Someone took the time to draw which way the filter should be installed.

That way, when it is put into the slot, you only have to put the arrow on the filter in the direction of the arrows drawn on the return duct.

What if the arrows are drawn wrong?

THESE ARROWS ARE POINTING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!!

How do you know which way the air blows?

The air will always be drawn TOWARD the blower.  From the blower it gets heated in the furnace or cooled on the AC coils.

So the air-flow arrows on the filter should point TOWARD blower.

This unit is 5 years old.  It was filthy.  The ducts in the house were filthy.  Could it be the bad information on the arrows contributing to that?

My recommendation:  If you don't know which way the air is blowing, put a piece of toilet paper on the end of a pair of pliers and stick it into the slot.  See which way the paper is drawn.  That is your air flow direction!  Don't believe me?  Check it yourself.  AND THEN DRAW YOUR ARROWS THE RIGHT WAY!

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Re-Bloggged 19 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Maureen McCabe 08/20/2010 06:27 PM
  2. Vickie Slade 08/20/2010 07:49 PM
  3. Donald Bradbury 08/20/2010 09:11 PM
  4. Missy Caulk 08/21/2010 10:29 AM
  5. Laurel Stone 08/21/2010 10:42 AM
  6. Jeanne & Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Brokers 08/21/2010 11:12 AM
  7. Palm Properties l La Jolla Real Estate 08/21/2010 11:23 AM
  8. Damon Gettier 08/21/2010 03:32 PM
  9. Roy Kelley 08/21/2010 03:43 PM
  10. Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie 08/21/2010 04:03 PM
  11. zeta cross 08/22/2010 08:30 AM
  12. Lyn Sims 08/22/2010 11:31 AM
  13. Jeanean and David Gendron 08/22/2010 12:14 PM
  14. Valerie Duncan Stewart 08/24/2010 09:25 AM
  15. Brandon Clark 08/25/2010 12:52 AM
  16. Jennifer Dulmaine 08/26/2010 10:11 PM
  17. Barbara Todaro 08/27/2010 03:19 AM
  18. Dan Edward Phillips 08/30/2010 11:16 PM
  19. Chris Smith 08/30/2010 11:40 PM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Active Rain Block Party
Adventures in Home Inspecting
Ask the Home Inspector
Professional Home Inspectors
The Vent
Tags:
air filter
dirty return ducts

Comments 64 New Comment

Show All Comments
Rainer
154,608
Ted Tyndall
FL Homes for Sale-Palencia, World Golf Village,Nocatee,St. Augustine
Davidson Realty Inc.

Jay, a good common sense post. Thanks for the advice.

August 22, 2010 11:34 AM
Rainmaker
1,201,260
Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca

Well done and good post. This goes in my Realtors tool chest.

Thank you

August 22, 2010 11:35 AM
Rainmaker
451,864
Jan Green
RE/MAX Excalibur Scottsdale REALTOR®, GREEN®
Scottsdale, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Carefree, Fountain Hills

Excellent post ! I bought a home in '06 and had to change out the furnaces because someone never installed the furnace filters correctly!  The home was 13 years old at that time. 

August 22, 2010 03:28 PM
Rainmaker
236,035
Dominick Dina
MA, GRI, e-PRO, TAHS, SFR
Christian Realty San Antonio

Jay,

Almost funny if not such a serious issue.  In my rental contracts tenants are required to change a/c filters monthly.  For their health and the health of the a/c unit.

It is always disgusting to check an a/c filter and find it SO FILTHY it is being sucked up into the unit.  And the tenants wonder why the unit is not working properly.

Good grief!

Dominick

August 22, 2010 04:09 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

S&D - and I hope they can use it!

Well, Michael, I'd say half the time!  Wouldn't you?

Lyn - on EVERY inspection I tell my clients to change or wash (if washable) the filter monthly.

Ted - that's what we're here for!

August 22, 2010 06:35 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Richie - that must be a really cool tool chest!

Jan - that is a hard-learned lesson!  Wow...

Dominick - that is good to put on a tenant's contract because it teaches a correct principle.  You should fine them if they don't do it and you find it on one of your inspections.

August 22, 2010 06:36 PM
Rainer
26,848
Ron Poteet
Southwest Home Inspection

Jay, more good info. It's amazing how many homes I walk into and initially see dirt, lint buildup on the return air vent grille. No filter, clogged filter, and or improper mainteneance, If only the homeowner would see the clues and properly maintain the system filters, servicing of the unit, everyone in the home could "breathe much easier".

Ron Poteet (Southwest Home Inspection)

August 23, 2010 06:34 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Ron - I often take my client to the upper level to have them look inside the return duct with me.  So often we see stuff blowing in the breeze!  I point out that this stuff isn't just dust, it's also living organisms!

August 23, 2010 11:48 AM
Rainer
130,286
Monica Atherton
Your Temecula Real Estate Gal
Coldwell Banker~Residential Brokerage

Who knew?  Well, obviously Jay did!!!  Thanks for the info~

August 23, 2010 06:09 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Well, thank you Monica!  I hope you find the info useful!

August 23, 2010 06:13 PM
Rainmaker
626,489
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

I saw that the arrows were wrong as soon as I saw the photo. I see my share of filter problems too.

August 24, 2010 07:11 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

So did I Jim!  I laughed as I went into the room!  Then, when I pulled open the little door, there was no filter present at all!  For how long?  The system was filthy and no surprise as to why...

August 24, 2010 07:13 AM
Rainer
43,085
Valerie Duncan Stewart
Real Estate Agent-Broker, OKC, OK
(Metro First Realty)

Jay,

Great information. Not only did I re-blog you but I am a subscriber!!!

August 24, 2010 09:26 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Wow, thank you Valerie!  I am honored!

August 24, 2010 11:02 AM
Rainmaker
563,424
Chris Smith
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage

Jay, I learned the hard way that forgetting to change your air filter can cause disruption in your air conditioner...

August 30, 2010 11:33 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Chris - the school of hard knocks can be a cruel teacher.  It is an effective one though...

August 31, 2010 05:56 AM
Rainmaker
824,184
Marc Swartz
CPA, CA - Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario

Jay - In electronic air cleaners, the filter needs to be cleaned regularly.

August 31, 2010 07:29 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Ideally monthly Marc.  On inspections when those are present I actually show the client how to do that.

August 31, 2010 07:31 AM
Rainmaker
261,430
Wayne B. Pruner
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Oregon First

This is good stuff Jay. Luckily I took Arrow Drawing 101 in college!

September 30, 2010 12:43 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,094
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Well, Wayne, it sure would have come in handy here.  Did they do directions in the first or second semester?

September 30, 2010 07:55 AM
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,217,094

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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