What Happens If You Run the Air Conditioning Without an Air Filter?
We all have habits that we know aren’t the best for us – but we do them anyway. Maybe it’s grazing on snacks when you walk through the kitchen. Or perhaps it’s scrolling through social media on your phone late at night and missing out on much-needed sleep. In most cases, these habits aren’t too big of a deal if done in moderation.
That leads us to one of the most common bad habits homeowners have with their heating and cooling system: changing the air filter. We know it’s important to replace an old, dirty air filter with a new one – but what happens if you happen to run the AC without any filter, even for one day?
What does an AC air filter do?
First, let’s refresh ourselves on the role of the air filter. When the system pulls air inside your home to cool, it passes through the air filter before entering the indoor AC unit. Made of tightly woven material, the filter catches and collects small particles such as dirt, dusty, pet dander, and even certain microorganisms (depending on the type of filter). This function improves the indoor air quality of your home and protects the internal parts of the air conditioning system.
Risks of using the air conditioning without a filter
When an old air filter gets covered in a layer of particles, it can disrupt the airflow, which can overwork the AC and cause a number of mechanical issues. But what about if you remove the air filter but forget to replace it – or realize you don’t have a new one available at your home?
We certainly don’t recommend running a central air condition system without a proper filter. But if you have to for one night, it shouldn’t cause too much damage. However, don’t let this become a reoccurring habit. Without the protection of the air filter, a few things can happen:
- Unexpected AC repairs – If the dirt, dust, and other tiny particles get inside the AC unit, they can collect on the internal components. This can lead to faster wear-and-tear on the components or affect the airflow of the system. When either of these happens, your air conditioning can stop working properly or even breakdown.
- Poor indoor air quality – It’s pretty simple – if airborne particles are drawn into the AC, most of them will get blown back out along with the cooled air. Poor indoor air quality can aggravate allergies, contribute to respiratory issues, and increase the risk of other health issues.
- Higher energy bills – Any time a heating or cooling system is unable to work as efficiently as it should, it will use more energy to get the job done. That usually results in more expensive energy bills.
Professional air conditioning service
To sum things up – yes, you need to change the AC air filter. No, it won’t be the end of the world if you run the system without a filter for one night. But no, you shouldn’t add this to your list of bad habits.
If you have any questions about your air conditioning or need help with maintenance or repair, talk to the experts at DeZiel Heating & AC. We’re ready to assist with all your heating and cooling needs. Call us today at (763) 684-3965.