Does the direction my Aprilaire air cleaner was installed matter?

Monday, August 29, 2011 by Aprilaire Team
Consumer question:

I just noticed that the model 2400 Aprilaire air cleanerunit is installed backwards according to the air flow arrow on the filter frame. How will this affect the filter and the HVAC unit performance? Do I need to change it?

Aprilaires' response:

Thank you for contacting us with regards to your model 2400 Air Cleaner. Our Aprilaire Media Air Cleaners are designed to fit with most heating/cooling equipment and duct work configurations. They attach to the outside of the heating/cooling equipment at the point where all of the air flow return ducts join together before the air passes into the heating/cooling equipment. This means that the air cleaner can be placed in an upright position, upside-down, on its side, or even standing straight up, as long as the air passes from the duct work through the air cleaner into the heating/cooling equipment. The outer housing door is universal and fits both ways.
In the past, our air cleaners had a rigid structure to the filter which required that the air flow pass in a certain direction through the cleaner. The cabinet had an arrow indicating the proper direction of the air flow through it so that its internal filter would be positioned correctly. These included our models 2200 and 2400.
Our current line of media air cleaners have a filter that can be reversed inside the cabinet. This means that the cabinet can be mounted in any direction and that the filter can be flipped around to match the direction of the air flow. This allows for a simpler installation and prevents the appearance that an air cleaner has been installed “upside-down.”
Air passing through the air cleaner in the wrong direction could lead to air leakage around the filter, increased air resistance, or filter collapse as the filter is structurally supported against air flow only in one direction. The efficiency of the Aprilaire air cleaner is not affected. If an older model air cleaner has been installed incorrectly, we recommend that either the original installer or another service contractor revisit the installation and reposition the cabinet so that the air flow passes through the air cleaner properly. Some sheet metal work may be required so that the return air duct can be attached to the flange on the inlet side of the outer housing when the air cleaner is turned in the proper direction. In addition, sheet metal work may also be required at the furnace so that the flat outlet side of the air cleaner can be attached to the furnace return air opening.
We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance.

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