Is it OK to Run Your AC Without a Filter?


Air filters work efficiently to operate air conditioners. They can capture a great amount of dirt, pollen, and particles alongside keeping the air cool inside the house. You can run your AC without a filter, but you may experience some potential risks. Keep reading this article to know why a filter is essential to run your air conditioning systems smoothly.

Can You Run Your AC without a Filter?

Air filters are needed to trap air particles, microscopic allergens, dust, mold, dirt, and all air irritants to a great extent. They help to get them out and prevent them from entering your house. Air conditioners can work without a filter, but we don’t recommend homeowners avoid using them as they may cause severe damage to the air conditioning system. Therefore, the consequences cost expensive repairs, which also leads to being more hazardous.

Problems of Running AC Without a Filter 

Decreased Air Quality 

The most common and worst problem you may face due to not using various furnace filters to run your AC is decreased air quality inside your house. When an AC runs continuously without an air filter, dust can’t settle in a room. This complex operation of your air conditioning system ultimately leads to clogging of the HVAC unit. The HVAC unit’s problems are so expensive to repair due to the high labor and parts costs. So, consider using an air filter to run your AC to avoid this unwanted problem.

Condensation Drainage System Issue

The condensation drain fails to drain the moisture content from your air conditioning unit if you don’t use an air filter. Indeed, you want to avoid the accumulation of condensation on the Freon Tubing as it will drip down the pan afterward. As a result, the consequences cause water damage to the entire system. This problem can easily be avoided by running AC with an air filter.

Issues on the Freon Tube

Your house’s air conditioner pulls air from the room and blows it across copper tubes. Copper tubes have Freon inside them. These tubes can’t take the load of blows of unfiltered air. Therefore, dirt and dust get clogged in condensation and coat the blade. The entire process will eventually lead to an inefficient operation in the system.

Problematic Ductwork 

Freon tubes work to escape dirt and dust that travel down to the ductwork. Then, that dirt gets trapped by some aluminum tubes, which causes mold growth inside the ductwork. This problem causes serious health issues in the long run for your family’s health.

Motor or Compressor Issues

If you don’t want to deal with the malfunctioning issues of the motor or compressor, make sure you run your AC with a filter. Dirt and dust cause severe problems to the motor and compressor. A suitable air filter helps block those air contaminants that can’t get stuck inside the motor compressor. Without an air filter to run your AC, you can’t protect the system’s operations from unwanted strains.

Higher Energy Bills 

Without an air filter, there is a greater risk of problems occurring in the motor or compressor, which results in the system having a more difficult time cleaning and cooling your home. This means that you are now responsible for paying more for your energy bills.


You can operate your AC without a filter for a short period, but practicing it continuously for a long time will damage the system considerably and reduce the indoor air quality of your house. If you need help choosing a suitable MERV air filter for your unit, talk to an expert from Mervfilters and save your family from the risks of fatal and expensive problems.