Although the answer to this question is yes, you should never attempt to run your air conditioner without a filter. We understand that you may not always have a new replacement filter on hand when you want to replace your current one, but it's best to wait until you have a replacement filter. Operating the air conditioner without a filter is worse than running it with a dirty one. Instead, go to the store as soon as possible for a replacement or call an HVAC professional to have it replaced. Without a filter, your air conditioner is at risk of serious and costly problems.
Follow our advice and never run your system without 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. One of the most common issues when running an air conditioner without a filter is that there will be a significant decrease in indoor air quality. This is because dust and other contaminants will become part of your home, since there is nothing to filter them from the incoming air.
Without a filter, dirt and debris are sucked into the air conditioning system and transported back to your home, remaining and accumulating in the HVAC ducts. Both scenarios can reduce air quality and potentially damage the HVAC system, resulting in costly repairs or replacements. The longer you run your air conditioner without a filter, the more likely it will need repairs. This is perhaps a little more obvious, but without the air filter to filter dust, your air conditioner will now throw dust all over your home. We spend 90% of our time indoors and air quality can have a big impact on the quality of your health. Without a filter for your air conditioner, the condensate drain won't be able to do its job of draining condensation and moisture from your unit.
A clean air filter is vital to keeping the system in good condition, helping it last longer, and helping the air stay cleaner. The main purpose of the air conditioning filter is to clean the air circulating in the air conditioning system. As the warm air passes through the cold coils, the coolant cools the air, and then the air is pushed throughout the house. Your air conditioner sucks in the air from your home, removes heat from it, and then returns it back into your home. The air cleaner acts as a barrier to this return ventilation of the AC (the ventilation that draws in air into the system).
Without a filter to prevent contaminants from circulating throughout the house, indoor air quality will decrease. Let's take a look at how an AC filter works and what negative effects can occur when running an AC without one. Each AC system has a filter designed to prevent dust from entering both your home and the system. A common problem if you use your AC without a filter is that indoor air quality deteriorates. One of the manifestations when the filter is clogged is improper distribution of cold air in its vicinity. The most common problem with operating an AC without a filter is decreased indoor air quality.
Without a filter for your AC unit, condensate drain won't be able to do its job of draining condensation and moisture from it. A clean AC filter is essential for keeping the system in good condition, helping it last longer, and helping keep the air cleaner.