Air filters are an important part of HVAC systems that help maintain indoor air quality. One of the questions people often ask is if it’s okay to run their heating and air conditioning systems without an air filter. In today’s post, local HVAC company Modern Air Solutions answers this question.
What Do Air Filters Do?
A typical air filter consists of filtering material, or “media,” installed over a frame. It captures particles such as dust and pollen as the air passes through the HVAC system’s intake vents. In addition to preventing dirt and microbes from circulating in the house, it also helps keep the ductwork clean and free from mold and mildew growth.
Air filters eventually become clogged, so they need to be replaced every three months or so, and sometimes as often as once a month during seasons of heavy heating and cooling. Fortunately, air filters are user-replaceable, which means one doesn’t have to make an air conditioning service appointment to have a new air filter installed. While this is an additional expense, it’s but a small price to pay for maintaining good indoor air quality.
Is It Okay to Run an HVAC System Without an Air Filter?
HVAC systems will run without an air filter, but the question is: is it okay to do so? The short answer is NO. Running your HVAC system without an air filter can result in many problems that may affect your HVAC system’s long-term performance.
Dust, pollen and particles such as microbes can circulate freely in your home if your HVAC system doesn’t have an air filter. Mold and mildew spores can also multiply sight unseen in areas within the ductwork, which can increase the concentration of spores in your living areas and may trigger respiratory problems. Lastly, dust and dirt passing through your HVAC system can result in deposits on its coils, which can dramatically reduce its efficiency and may eventually lead to premature failure.
Regularly replacing your air filter and keeping up with scheduled HVAC maintenance can help ensure reliable operation and aid in maintaining good indoor air quality.