Experiments in the illumination of the F region of the ionosphere via radio frequency waves polarized in the ordinary mode (O-mode) have revealed that the magnitude of artificial heating-induced effects depends strongly on the inclination angle of the pump beam, with a greater modification to the plasma observed when the heating beam is directed close to or along the magnetic zenith direction. Numerical simulations performed using a recently developed finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) code are used to investigate the contribution of the O-mode to Z-mode conversion process to this effect. The aspect angle dependence and angular size of the radio window for which conversion of an O-mode pump wave to the Z-mode occurs is simulated for a variety of plasma density profiles including 2-D linear gradients representative of large-scale plasma depletions, density-depleted plasma ducts, and periodic field-aligned irregularities. The angular shape of the conversion window is found to be strongly influenced by the background plasma profile. If the Z-mode wave is reflected, it can propagate back toward the O-mode reflection region leading to resonant enhancement of the electric field in this region. Simulation results presented in this paper demonstrate that this process can make a significant contribution to the magnitude of electron density depletion and temperature enhancement around the resonance height and contributes to a strong dependence of the magnitude of plasma perturbation with the direction of the pump wave.