What Happens If I Run My AC Without a Filter?

The Importance of an AC Filter at Your Annapolis, MD Home

As a homeowner, it’s important that you know how to properly care for your home and all of its systems. Sometimes this merely means knowing when to call a professional for help. Your air conditioner is one of the most vital systems in your home, providing necessary cooling during the hottest time of the Annapolis summer. For this reason, it’s especially important to ensure your AC stays in top condition. One way to do so is to keep the air filter clean and always be sure it is in place before running your system. Many people don’t realize the importance of this small part, but it performs a crucial service by keeping harmful items out of the system. Read on to learn more about this essential component and the consequences of attempting to run your system without it.

What Does an AC Filter Do?

Your AC filter is usually constructed of a spun fiberglass material or from pleated paper or cloth held within a frame. It’s often located in your return air duct, but it could also be in the front of your furnace near the bottom if your two systems share the same ducts. The primary purpose of your AC filter is to clean the air that is circulating through your air conditioning system. The material of the filter is designed to capture and hold various particles and contaminants that may find their way into your home. By trapping these particles within its fibers, your filter keeps them out of your HVAC system, helping to protect your family and your AC equipment. Some of the contaminants AC filters are designed to trap include:

  • * Dust and dirt
  • * Pollen and other allergens
  • * Mold and mold spores
  • * Fibers and lint
  • * Hair and animal fur
  • * Metal, plaster, and wood particles
  • * Bacteria and other microorganisms

Can My AC Still Run Without a Filter?

Though the answer to this question is yes, your AC system will still run without a filter, you should never attempt to do it. We understand that you may not always have a new spare filter on hand when you want to replace your current one, but you’re better off waiting until you have a replacement. Running your air conditioner without a filter is worse than running it with a dirty one. Instead, get to the store as soon as possible for a replacement or call an HVAC professional for replacement. Without a filter, your air conditioner is at risk for severe and expensive problems. Take our advice and never run your system without one.

What Problems Can Arise from Running My AC Without a Filter?

As mentioned previously, running your air conditioner without a filter can lead to severe problems. It could lead to decreased comfort and permanent damage to your HVAC system, which may result in hefty repair bills. Some of the most common issues that can arise from not using an AC filter include:

  • * Issues with the Motor or Compressor: Dirt and other debris are the main culprits behind compressor and motor malfunctions. Without a proper filter blocking contaminants, they can get inside the motor and compressor and cause strain on the system’s operation.
  • * Poor Indoor Air Quality: Your air filter traps harmful substances and prevents them from circulating throughout your home. Without an air filter, you’ll see a significant drop in the quality of your indoor air, which could affect the health of your family.
  • * Higher Energy Bills: Because the lack of an air filter can cause your motor or compressor issues, the entire system will have to work harder to cool your home. This can lead to higher energy bills as the system will require more power to function.
  • * Water Damage: Without an air filter to capture debris, your condensate drain can become clogged. This drain helps to get rid of the extra humidity your air conditioner removes from your home, and with no place for this moisture to drain, it can back up and cause water damage to your system.
  • * Dirty Ductwork: Because your air filter collects dirt and dust, these particles will move freely through your system if a filter isn’t present. This means debris can build up inside your ductwork, leading to inadequate airflow and other issues.

Let a Professional Ensure the Job is Done Right

While some homeowners may clean or replace their AC filters on their own, there is no shame in letting a professional do the work for you. Some air conditioning systems are large and complicated, and even finding the filter can be difficult. If you are at a loss for where to look or what type of filter you need, it’s best to let an experienced HVAC technician do the job for you. Barstow and Sons can check your filter and replace it if required during your annual AC inspection. With this service, your system will be ready for the summer ahead.

Call Us for AC Service

If you are gearing up for warmer weather, now is the time to call Barstow and Sons for your annual tune-up. We can check your AC filter, ductwork, and all internal parts before you turn your air conditioner on for the summer. Reach out to us today to schedule service at your home in Annapolis, MD.

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