Can HVAC System Run Without Air Filter?

Can HVAC system run without air filter

In previous blog posts we have mentioned the importance of air filters and your HVAC system. Today we will answer the question: can your HVAC system run without air filter? It is important to remember that a filter keeps your HVAC system functioning properly in various ways. Without a filter in place dirt, dander, and other debris will not be filtered out of the air and can be bad not only for the HVAC system but to you and your family’s health. Failing to replace a clogged filter can also put extra strain on your AC and furnace. Replacing your filter is a quick and easy maintenance task that can offer a lot of benefits. So, can HVAC system run without air filter? The short answer is the system will run, but in this case just because you can does not mean you should especially as a long-term solution.  We HIGHLY recommend against it and we will explain why below.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

The most common issue as a result of running your AC or furnace without a filter is poor indoor air quality. Without a filter in place to trap air pollutants and contaminants the air quality in your home will quickly deteriorate because they will just keep circulating through your home until someone breathes it in or it accumulates within the HVAC unit. Poor indoor air quality can also lead to flu-like symptoms, nose, throat and eye irritations, and increased risks for respiratory ailments.

Contaminated Ductwork

You could contaminate your ductwork by running your AC or furnace without an air filter. Any air that circulates throughout your home will pass through the ductwork. Without a filter in place, pollutants and contaminants will travel through the duct system and become trapped. This accumulation can lead to moisture in the ductwork creating the ideal environment for mold to grow. The mold spores will then circulate throughout your home when the HVAC system is on and pose a severe health hazard to occupants within the household.

Condensation Drain Issues

If you run your system without a filter, the condensation drain will fail to drain the condensation and moisture from the AC unit. This will lead to condensation accumulating on the refrigerant line and then drip down to the pan.  The filter is responsible for keeping debris from accumulating in the condensate drain, without the filter the drain could clog and cause damage to the entire system.

Refrigerant Line Issues

An air conditioner works by pulling air from your home and blowing it across copper tubes filled with refrigerant. These tubes are always wet, and if unfiltered air were to blow across them dirt and debris would stick to the condensation and coat the fins. This would cause an extra strain on your system causing it to perform inefficiently.

System Failure

The main purpose of an air filter is to protect the HVAC system especially the blower motor and evaporator coils. The longer you run your AC or furnace without one, the more dust and other debris can get pulled into the system leading to premature system failure due to the extra strain. For example, the biggest issue with running your AC without an air filter is that debris that settles on the equipment restricts airflow over your evaporator coils. The refrigerant held in the evaporator coils cool the air as it passes over them. However, if there is insufficient airflow over the coils, they are not able to absorb as much heat. This can eventually lead to frozen coils which result in warm air, high energy bills, or compressor failure.  It is important to run your HVAC system with a clean air filter to save yourself from costly repair bills or even early replacement.

How Often Should Air Filter Be Replaced?

At the very minimum you should be replacing your filter once every three months, but we recommend checking it monthly to make sure it is not clogged. Remember that a clogged air filter prevents air from flowing through the system which can lead to poor airflow, cold air in the winter, warm air in the summer, costly utility bills, overheated HVAC system, or premature failure. A clean air filter will ensure the system operates efficiently, helps indoor air quality, and improves the lifespan of your system.

Schedule Routine HVAC Maintenance

In addition to regularly changing your filters it is important to schedule professional routine maintenance. Routine HVAC maintenance is the best way to proactively maximize the lifespan of your HVAC system and prevent costly repairs or breakdowns. A well-maintained system will also run more efficiently and effectively. Contact LA Construction, Heating and Air to schedule routine maintenance. Our technicians will take care of replacing the air filter and inspect the system to ensure it is running at its best and diagnose any possible issues.

Contact LA Construction, Heating and Air

In addition to offering routine AC and furnace maintenance, we can assist with many other of your HVAC needs. Contact us right away at 818-341-3406 or online if you need assistance with an immediate issue or would like a free estimate for replacement. All of our technicians are professionally trained and skilled to deliver outstanding residential and commercial HVAC services. We are here to help you enjoy uninterrupted, efficient heating and cooling of your home and business.

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How To Reduce Indoor Humidity

To reduce indoor humidity use a dehumidifier, replace AC air filters, avoid condensation and schedule routine AC maintenance. When humidity levels are right you will feel more comfortable in your home leading to lower heating and cooling bills year-round. Furthermore, humidity is a contributing factor to health concerns such as allergies, poor indoor air quality and contributes to mold growth.

Signs You Need AC Repair

Most of the time your system will indicate there is an AC issue before it breaks down. It is best not to postpone AC repair, because it will cause unnecessary wear and tear on your system and possibly lead to a complete breakdown requiring AC replacement. Lack of cool air, increased energy costs, unusual sounds and smells are among some of the signs you need AC repair.

Poor AC Airflow

Airflow issues can result in hot and cold spots, pressure imbalances, ac not cooling, or low airflow from the vents. Ignoring poor ac airflow issues for too long can put unnecessary wear and tear on your system and lead to compressor failure. If you are noticing any issues with your AC this summer give us a call or contact us online for AC repair services. We also offer preventative maintenance plans.