Can I Run My AC Without an Air Filter?

Let’s say your filter is filthy and now your air conditioner doesn’t work properly. As a result, you take the old one out but still think, “Eh, maybe I can wait to get a new one.” 

So, can you run an AC without an air filter? As trustworthy HVAC technicians, our team at Santa Fe Air won’t lie and say it won’t work. But wait… don’t stop reading yet. Just because you can run your AC without a filter, doesn’t mean you should

Keep reading to learn why running your air conditioner without replacing your filter isn’t the best idea for your HVAC system. 

Why you should always have an air filter for your AC

First, without an air filter, dirt, debris, and other micropollutants can enter your home and mess with your air quality. For those with allergies or asthma, this is definitely something you want to avoid. However, even if you don’t have respiratory issues, you don’t want to get sick or start having problems because of poor air quality. 

Second, you could damage your unit. A filter also helps the condensation drain get rid of excess moisture, but if you don’t have that, moisture could build up around the refrigerant tubes and start to freeze. As a result, your unit won’t work as efficiently. A double whammy to this problem is if you already have a refrigerant leak that you haven’t noticed. 

Lastly, excess debris that makes it into your ductwork can get trapped. When all that gunk builds up, it collects moisture. And do you know what loves damp, warm environments? Mold. 

Key takeaway: You can run your AC without an air filter, but you shouldn’t do it. 

At the end of the day, not having an air filter can do major damage, even if you don’t notice right away. Instead of being reactive and trying to fix the issue with AC troubleshooting, it’s better to nip it in the bud and buy a new filter. 

If you’re unsure how to go about it, our technicians at Santa Fe Air are always here to give you a helping hand. We’re the best HVAC company in Kansas City, and we help people in the KC and Johnson County areas get the most out of their heating and cooling systems. 

Get started today with a free online quote. 

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