It's possible to run your air conditioning system without a filter, but it's not recommended. Doing so can cause serious damage to your AC unit and result in costly repairs. Even if you don't have a replacement filter on hand, it's best to wait until you can get one. Running the air conditioner without a filter is worse than running it with a dirty one.
In theory, you can operate your air conditioner without a filter for a limited period of time. However, doing so for more than 6 to 8 hours can be detrimental to your system and reduce the quality of your home's indoor air. The longer you leave your air conditioner running without a filter, the more likely you are to have problems with indoor air quality. As a result, you or others in your household may experience increased symptoms of allergy, respiratory problems, eye irritation, or irritation of the nose and throat.
The main purpose of the air conditioning filter is to clean the air circulating in the air conditioning system. Dirt, dust and debris are again sucked through the inlet, pumped back through the vents and remain suspended in the air until someone inhales it or the unit becomes clogged. Cleaning the central air conditioning filter helps the unit consistently produce cool air and keep the air in your home clean and healthy. If you have dirty filters in your air conditioner or you don't have any filters, dirt and debris will accumulate inside as they adhere to the coils and fins, creating a thick layer of dust on the coils.
According to popular belief, the more you use your air conditioner, the more often you should change the air filter. The good news is that yes, you can run the air conditioner while you go to the store for a replacement filter. This doesn't mean you can run the air conditioner permanently without a filter and just sweep your house more often. An air conditioner cannot work longer than 6-8 hours without a filter and not be damaged.
More than this, and you could be configuring your system for serious damage. One way to do this is to keep the air filter clean and always make sure it is in place before operating the system. You can choose to replace the filter later in the evening or on a day when local stores that sell filters aren't open.