Can I run my AC without a filter?

Your air conditioner’s filter captures dust mites, pet hair, carpet fibers, mold spores, and other airborne contaminants from collecting on the intricate internal components of your HVAC system. So, while you certainly CAN, should you?

Risks of running your air conditioner without a filter:

Air Quality Problems

When you remove your air conditioner’s filter, you will see a dramatic increase in airborne particulates floating throughout your home and settling on your furniture. If you have respiratory challenges, your nose may feel stuffy and your lungs heavy.

See our air filter products here.

Condensation Drain Problems

You’ve probably seen condensation on the outside of your cold drink on a hot day, or on the inside of your car windows. Moisture also gathers inside your home’s air conditioner. It accumulates in a drip pan, then flows through a tube the size of a drinking straw into a nearby drain.

If you remove the filter from your air conditioner or furnace, the “dust” particulates get trapped in the drip pan water and clog the drain tube. The water then stagnates with mold and the moving air circulates the mold spores and stench throughout your ducts.

Refrigerant Tube Problems

When all is well, your air conditioner or furnace pulls air from your home, compresses it into a liquid, then cools it with refrigerant (aka Freon). When fed with unfiltered air, these tubes and fan blades (outside of your home) are coated with debris. Your system works harder to maintain the temperature inside your home. Your power bill increases.

Ductwork Problems

When undrained, moist and moldy air is circulated, it collects in the seams of your ductwork and causes obstructions or ionization (rust).

How to replace an AC filter:

Air filters improve your home’s air quality and dramatically extend your system’s life. It also reduces the chance of system failure and improves the peak performance of the system in hot months – using less electricity which reduces your power bills.

Just like most consumer goods, there are multiple choices of filter quality. We recommend replacing your filter with the change of every season (4 x per year). We also recommend investing a little more in a HEPA-certified filter. It filters out particulates that are 1/10 the size of human hair.

Changing your AC flter is simple. Locate it on either the exterior of the blower unit or beneath a cover and slide it out. The correct size is printed on the filter.

a dirty air filter from an air conditioner a technician installing a new air filter into an existing air conditioner

If you want to upgrade to the ultra-filtering HEPA filter, just ask for it. There are no technical part numbers, just the size of the filter.

We understand that it can be difficult to track how often to replace your AC filters, mark your calendar or set a reminder on your phone or desktop. Again, we recommend replacing the filters every 3 months for maximum efficiency – more often if you have multiple pets, smokers, or a very dusty environment.

We make it easy to stay up on maintenance. Visit our store to stock up, call us for delivery, or join or auto-schedule. Get directions to the store here or schedule maintenance here.

Eli Castaneda Jr. - founder and owner of Precision Air
I’m Eli Castaneda Jr,

 I’m the founder and owner of Precision Air. We are a family-owned business providing air conditioning and heating services to homeowners and businesses in Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend area of Texas.

With over 23 years in the industry, I am using everything that I have learned serving thousands of customers to ensure that my team delivers precise, dependable, and high-quality service whenever you need it; day or night. We value your business.

If you live in the Corpus Christi area and need to have your HVAC serviced or replaced, give us a call!

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