An air filter is an essential component of your air conditioning system. It is responsible for cleaning the air by filtering any pollutants that may be in the air. But the main question for some homeowners is, can one use an AC without a filter? The answer to this question is ABSOLUTELY NOT. While your air conditioning system might run, it should only be run with the air filters. The number one reason why air conditioners break down is because of dirt. Hence, operating your air conditioning system without an air filter will only attract problems that need the attention of an air conditioning service provider in Fort Worth, TX.
Besides cleaning the air, the filter ensures that the HVAC system is clear of any dirt that could result in obstructions that affect the efficiency of the HVAC system. Thus, never use an AC without a filter. Although there are particular situations where you might use the HVAC without a filter, albeit for a very short time running your air conditioning system without a filter is a recipe for disaster. Let’s look at the implications of running the AC without a filter.
What Is the Role of an Air Filter?
The main purpose of an air filter is to clean the air at your home and keep the air conditioning system dirt- and dust free. Since dust, dirt, dander, and other airborne particles could damage the heating and air conditioning system, the filters act as a barrier to them, ensuring that it is in a top state. It also ensures you have high indoor air quality at your home. Hence, it is recommended that you have an air conditioning service that includes their replacement regularly.
The filters are usually rated on the filtration levels using a MERV system and other similar systems such as FPR and MPR. Based on the environment and the air quality that you use the air filters in, you might have to use different filtration levels to protect the air conditioner from damage optimally. Though you must pick the right AC filter for your particular situation, the worst option is failing to use one. It will result in longer-term damage that the air conditioning service might not fix.
What Causes Damage to an Air Conditioner Without Air Filter?
Dirt is one of the reading reasons why your air conditioner will keep breaking down. Hence, operating your HVAC system without any air filters installed will result in serious damage. Besides dirt, many other particulates could damage your air conditioning system. Whenever this happens, you will be prompted to call an air conditioning service provider for expensive repairs that you could have avoided by purchasing filters. Other contaminants that could damage the air conditioner include pollen, dust, hair, pet dander, and dirt. It is worth noting that these elements will also result in reduced indoor air quality. Hence, you should ensure that you install not only just any air filters but high-quality HEPA filters. Air conditioning service providers recommend installing those with a higher MERV rating if you have a pet at your Fort Worth, TX home.
With the right filter in place, the contaminants explained above can be eliminated from the air and kept from reaching the air conditioner. Based on the rating of the air filter you bought, how many contaminants the air filter filters might vary. Again, though you must select air filters with the appropriate MERV ratings, you should only use the AC with filters. This will result in breakdowns and larger air conditioning service and repair costs.
What Risks or Problems Arise When You Run the HVAC Without a Filter?
Can your air conditioner run without a filter? Yes. However, you shouldn’t run it without it. You must know that could happen if you run the HVAC system without a filter. Whenever you turn your air conditioner on without an installed filter, you’re taking a serious risk with the efficiency of your air conditioner. This could lead to issues requiring an air conditioning service provider to repair. Below are some issues that could arise if you use the air conditioning unit without a filter.
Debris and Dust Will Be All Over Your Home
Running your air conditioner without an air filter will result in the recirculation of dirt and debris all over your house because air filters are designed to capture particles such as dirt, hair, dust, and other impurities. This contributes to the usually poor air quality inside buildings, making allergies worse and impacting your health and family. This will have a significant impact on indoor air quality. To ensure that you are inhaling clean air at your Fort Worth, TX home, the air conditioning service recommends using a high-efficiency filter and never running your HVAC system without one.
Higher Energy Bills
Any of the issues above can not only cost you a fortune in the form of costly air conditioning service and repairs, but damage to the AC system can also lead to an increase in the amount of money you spend on energy bills. When a system is damaged or inefficient, it requires additional effort to maintain the same level of performance. This, in turn, necessitates an increase in the electricity necessary to run the motor or compressor, which impurities may impede or slow down.
Clogging of the Condensate Drain Line
When you operate your HVAC without a filter, one of the side effects is that the condensate drain line, which is meant to discharge any excess liquid that has gathered during the process of dehumidifying, becomes clogged. If there isn’t an air filter, more dirt and debris will be let into the air conditioning system, where they shouldn’t be, and eventually find their way into the condensation drain, where it will accumulate and clog it. Condensation will then accumulate on the refrigerant tubing as the drain becomes increasingly clogged, resulting in water damage to the system. To prevent clogging in the condensate drain line, you should have an air conditioning service done in the HVAC system to remove any clogs that could be present in the drain lines.
Problems with Your Air Ducts
Besides ensuring that you have high indoor air quality at home, using an air filter for your air conditioner traps the particles and protects the air conditioner. The air conditioner’s filters also keep dirt and debris from the air ducts. This ensures that the contaminants don’t travel via the ducts to your home or settle there. If the contaminants settle on the air ducts, they will grow mold, resulting in a musty, moldy smell. If the mold is blown into your Fort Worth, TX home, you and your family members could show signs of allergic inflammation. Without an air filter, the contaminants will freely travel through the air ducts or settle there. Unfortunately, this will still happen even with an air filter. For this reason, you should have an air conditioning service on your HVAC system.
Problems with the Refrigerant Line
Heating and air conditioning systems cool the air over a refrigerant-filled evaporator coil. The refrigerant-filled evaporator and condenser coils help in the heat exchange process. The evaporator coils are critical to the functioning of your air conditioner. Whenever it is blocked or even covered in debris with dirt and debris, it won’t be able to function efficiently. As explained above, whenever the condensate drain is clogged and ice forms on the evaporator coils, dirt and debris stick on the tubes and prevent efficient heat exchange. Hence, whenever you notice that the refrigerant lines are covered by snow, you should have an air conditioning service provider clear it.
How Long Can Your Air Conditioner Run Without a Filter?
It’s never a great idea to use your air conditioning or HVAC unit without installing an air filter. Spending even a short time in this manner increases the risk of causing irreversible damage and the likelihood of necessitating costly air conditioning service and repairs. Depending on the surrounding atmosphere and the air quality, it is possible that 1-2 days of operation without a filter will not do any damage. To reiterate, allowing your air conditioner to operate without an air filter for ANY period will ALWAYS put the system in danger. When evaluating this potential risk, it is important to consider several environmental elements, as these can affect the period the HVAC system can operate without damage. You should have an air conditioning service provider install an air filter and come over for routine maintenance, including replacing the filters.
Special Situations That You Should Consider
If construction occurs in your neighborhood, there is a good probability that the amount of debris and dust in the air will be far higher than it would normally be. Construction projects have the potential to stir up contaminants already present in the air and lower the quality of the air overall, both inside and outside. If you run your AC without a filter, you risk getting damaged more quickly if there is an upsurge in the movement of particles in the area. So, have you renovated your home recently? Is there construction near your Fort Worth, TX home? You should have an air conditioning service come for a duct cleaning service.
High Dust Levels
When it comes to homes or buildings with a greater amount of dust on the inside, the potential for harm to the systems that aren’t using an HVAC air filter is significantly raised. Without a filter to collect the surplus dust, the dust can enter the system directly and cause havoc on the primary mechanical components. High levels of dust are among the main reasons why it is recommended that you have an air conditioning service done regularly to reduce the impact of
the dust on the various components of your air conditioner, such as the compressor and air ducts.
Poor Air Quality
Usually, poor air quality from excessive dirt, pollution, and mold can also result in damage to your HVAC system. Before you risk your health and that of your family, you should have an air conditioning service provider test the indoor air quality. You shouldn’t run the HVAC without a filter in a room with poor air quality. Many companies in Fort Worth, TX offer indoor air quality testing, and they can help you better understand your specific situation.
For homeowners that have pets or homes that have animals, there will be an increased presence of pet and animal fur in the indoor air. While the air filters are usually great at eliminating the dander, running the air conditioner without them exacerbates the risk of harm to the HVAC system’s mechanical components and your pets’ health. To avert the issues connected with pet dander, such as allergies, you should have an air conditioning service provider install quality filters and clean the HVAC system.
How Can You Get a Replacement Air Filter Fast?
Now that you know the damage of running the AC without a filter, you could ask yourself, where can you get a replacement filter quickly? You can contact your most reliable air conditioning service provider in Fort Worth, TX for advice. Before you purchase an air filter, you should know the size of the filter required for your particular air conditioner. You should also know the level of protection required and whether you want a custom air filter. Once you determine your specific needs, you will get your particular replacement filter easily and quickly.
As you can see from the above, using the air conditioning system without an air filter is a recipe for disaster. Hence, always ensure that the filter is installed before you run the heating and air conditioning system. Contact us at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth for an air conditioner filter replacement and maintenance.