If you own an AC unit, you might have at one time asked yourself, can I run AC without air filter? Here is all you need to know about that. The air filter is an integral component of any air conditioning unit. It is, however, normal to get the temptation to run the air conditioner without a filter. Maybe the filter has an issue, or you might be an adventurous person willing to push your luck. But would it be a good idea to run your air conditioner without a filter?
Let’s see about that.
Can Your Run AC Without Filter?
Yes, you can. Although an integral part of the air conditioner, the air filter won’t stop the unit from working if you remove it. That, however, doesn’t mean it is a good idea.
Here is why you shouldn’t try it.
What Happens When You Run an Air Conditioner Without a Filter?
Filter installed in every air conditioning system to prevent dust from entering both your home and the system. It is essential for keeping your system in good operating condition, increasing its lifespan, and ensuring cleaner air. A number of things will happen if you use your air conditioner without an air filter.
- Decreased Indoor Air Quality
The primary function of the air filter is to purify the air that passes through the unit. To understand this, you’ll need to know how the AC unit works. The AC pulls in warm air from your house, which then cools before releasing the cool air into your home.
The AC expels the rest of the warm air after cooling to reduce the heat in your house. Now, air entering the AC unit will usually have lots of dust and other impurities. In the absence of a filter, this dirty air recirculates in your house.
That will considerably mess with the indoor air quality.
- Reduced Efficiency from the AC Unit
We already know that running the air conditioner without a filter will get dirty air through the AC. The air conditioner has freon-filled copper tubes that are integral in the air-cooling process.
If dirty air runs over these tubes (which are usually wet), dirt will stick on them. The dirt will then coat the blades and condensation, making the air conditioner not work efficiently.
Also, not all of this dirt will stick to the freon tubes. Some of it will escape and travel to the aluminum tubes that are usually uneven. This will then cause issues for the ductwork because of the dampness that it will create.
There will be mold growing on the tubes, thus causing further operational problems for the air conditioner.
- Motor and Compressor Problems
In the absence of an air filter, dirt and other debris will easily get to the compressor and motor and cause them to malfunction. You will have a steeper price to pay than if you just got a new air filter for your AC unit.
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- Increase in Energy Bills
Surprising? While you might think you’re saving yourself a few bucks, the consequences of operating an AC without a filter will quickly change that perception. Issues with the compressor and the motor cause the air conditioner to work harder to provide cool air in your home.
You will see an increase in the money you use to pay for your bills in the process. Better repair or replace that air filter.
From the above reasons, you can see that it is a terrible idea to run your AC without a filter. The result of consistently ignoring this is to have a damaged air conditioner in the end. That won’t help you in any way.
How Long Can I run My AC Without a Filter?
While it is not a good idea to run your AC without a filter, that doesn’t mean you can’t run it for a short while. We have seen that you can run the AC without the filter, but how long can you do that?
Your AC won’t suddenly malfunction because you ran it without a filter for a short while. Therefore, you can run it for between 6 and 8 hours. That should be enough for a night or two since you don’t need the AC running continuously.
The time might vary with the number of hours you need to get a new filter or get someone to repair it. The critical thing is to remember that you shouldn’t let it keep running for long without the filter. As you might now understand, that could have disastrous consequences.
Read Also: Can You Use a Window Air Conditioner Without a Window – What You Should Know
How to Replace an AC Air Filter
Let’s change the doomsday approach we’ve had so far and tell you what to do when you have a damaged air filter. Replacing the air filter isn’t a complicated process, especially if you follow the below steps.
- Get the ideal manual for your AC. This will be in the manual.
- Open the AC unit at the back to access the filter area. Remove the old filter if you had not removed it before.
- Replace it with the new filter, then close up the AC
Some filters are washable. Therefore, after removing them from the AC unit, wash them thoroughly before returning them to the unit. If the replacement process is too challenging for you, ensure you call a professional to help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What AC works better without an air filter?
A. There is no AC that works better without an air filter. The air filter is a vital part of any air conditioner, which is why it must always be present.
Q. Is running an AC without a filter better than running it with a dirty filter?
A. Nothing compares to your AC having an air filter. You’re better off running an AC with a dirty filter rather than without one at all.
Q. Will a dirty air filter affect the performance of the AC?
A. Yes, it will. A dirty filter means some dirt and debris that should be away from the AC gets through. We bet you know what that means for your AC unit.
Can I run AC without filter? We bet that question isn’t on your mind anymore. While it is possible to run the AC without a filter, we wouldn’t advise you to do that because of its consequences for the AC unit. If you suspect your filter has an issue or is dirty, replace it as soon as possible.
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