You might occasionally have to use the air conditioner without a filter. You might be concerned that operating your AC without one will harm it.
Theoretically, you can use your air conditioner for a short while without a filter. However, doing so for longer than 6 to 8 hours can be bad for your system and lower the indoor air quality of your house.
You might wish to find out what happens if you run it without a filter now that you are aware that it is feasible. How long are you planning on using it without a filter? What, exactly, makes a filter dirty in the first place?
What Is An AC Filter For?
The filter for the air conditioner performs two jobs. Preventing air contaminants from entering the air conditioning system is the first. Air from your indoor environment is drawn into the air conditioner, where it is cooled before being returned to your indoor environment.
The components of the AC’s cooling system experience accelerated wear and damage when dirt gets into the unit. You will have to replace the complete air conditioner unit if this occurs.
The second purpose is to keep the air being delivered clean as it travels through the filtration, cooling, and ducting systems. Most air pollutants and air contaminants, including the following, can be removed using these fiberglass tubes:
- Pollen, dust, and other minute particles
- Offensive compounds in the air
- Spores of mold and other fungi
When you return to your indoor environment, you have little chance of preventing any of these air contaminants without a filter.
Problems Occur When Running AC Without Filter
To prevent airborne particles from entering your air conditioner, the air filter works in tandem with the compressor motor and evaporator coils. The most common reasons for your air conditioner to break down are dirt and dust. Temporarily, your AC will function without a filter fitted, however if you do, the following problems could arise:
Heat Buildup In the AC Unit
Your living environment is cooled by the air conditioner blower. But when the filter is blocked, the blower motor will make it work even harder, similar to how it does now. Your air conditioner will overheat as a result of this overworking. Your air conditioner will eventually lose efficiency much more quickly than planned.
Energy Consumption Too Much
When a filter is blocked, the blower motor has to work harder than usual to do the same duty. Therefore, it will consume even more energy.
Additionally, given that the AC unit runs continuously during the hot season, anticipate an increase in your energy use. Energy usage may rise by 5 to 15 percent as a result of a blocked airflow brought on by a malfunctioning filter.
Problems With Air Quality
The indoor air quality will degrade if you use your air conditioner without a filter, which is a regular issue. This contaminant will continually blow back and hang in the air as dust and debris enter your air conditioner.
The more you put off dealing with the aforementioned problem, the more dangerous it becomes because your family’s health is at risk. As a result, their body may experience lung problems, eye discomfort, nose irritation, and other allergic reactions.
Freon Tube Problems
By pulling air from its surroundings and using freon to push it back through the fiberglass tubes of the air conditioner, an air conditioner functions.
Air particles become caught in the condenser and meld with its tubes when unfiltered air passes through these moist tubes. As a result, the system will operate inefficiently, or worse, cease to operate altogether.
Evaporator Coil Freeze
Evaporator coils in your air conditioner are in charge of incorporating the refrigerant into the system.
It changes from a liquid to a gas by taking heat from the surrounding atmosphere. The condenser is where the refrigerant is given after which it is transformed back into liquid and released outside.
If your air conditioner’s filters are clogged or missing altogether, dirt and debris will accumulate within and adhere to the coils and fins, covering them with a thick layer of dust. The coils are unable to chill the air since the passing air can no longer reach them. As a result, your entire HVAC system is unable to maintain a reasonable temperature within your home.
For forced air flow in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, ductwork is employed. The supply of heated or cooled air from within your home is part of this airflow.
Mold and filth become trapped when air pollutants flow through freon tubes and accumulate inside the ducting. As a result, when the air is blown back across your surroundings, all air pollutants might meld with it. In addition to this, it may also be the cause of any sporadic allergic reactions that one of your family members has.
The insufficient distribution of cool air into your surroundings is one of the symptoms of a blocked filter. You might discover that your room no longer feels like a sweltering prison because the ideal temperature configuration isn’t as exact as it once was. When this occurs, you should inspect your air conditioner’s filter right away.
Problems With Condensate Drains
It’s possible that you don’t give your drain line much thought. Pet hair, muck, and dust are examples of materials that might clog your drain line and cause issues.
Without a filter, operating the AC will prevent the condensate drainage from removing the accumulated moisture. A water leak eventually results from the freon tube’s excessive condensation moisture buildup, which has the potential to harm the entire system.
What Will Take Place If You Don’t Change The AC Filter?
The purpose of filters is not to permanently obstruct the flow of air. No matter the sort of AC unit you use, they should preferably undergo routine maintenance and inspection.
If you don’t change the AC filter, dust, grime, and other airborne debris will restrict the airflow of your AC unit. It will start to perform inefficiently and stop giving the AC the proper filtration sooner than intended.
Why Should Your AC Filter Be Replaced Frequently?
Maintaining your air conditioner’s filter will guarantee that it produces the highest-quality air that is appropriate for your surroundings. Additionally, it reduces the likelihood of an AC unit breakdown brought on by a blocked AC filter. Your air conditioner must work harder than usual to compensate for the clogged filter.
If you change your air filters frequently, your system will operate more effectively. The air filter helps prevent dust and debris from entering your system and ducts. By preventing obstructions, this can improve energy efficiency and reduce electricity costs.
How Frequently Should You Change Your AC Filter?
The majority of AC filter producers advise changing your air filter every 90 days, or three months. This changes based on your location (for instance, dusty, dry places), the age of your system and equipment, and other factors. You should replace your filter every 60 days or two months if you have pets.
You should replace your filter every 20–45 days if you are among people who have allergies or other respiratory conditions. It’s a common misconception that you should change your air filter more frequently the more you use your air conditioner.
Cleaning The AC Filter
Even if you frequently clean or change your filter, dust and other debris will eventually build up. It is therefore essential to let the vacuum suction all of the particles out in order to achieve thorough cleaning.
Use the medium setting on your vacuum while being cautious not to harm the filter. You can also use your hands to clear large particles.
Best practice: A handheld vacuum is ideal for this task since it is simpler to control and direct toward particular areas that need more cleaning.
To Sum Up
Since you now know that your air conditioner shouldn’t operate for longer than 8 hours without a filter, you might as well keep it in good working order. Cleaning your central AC filter keeps the air in your home clean and healthy while also assisting the system in continually producing cold air.