HVAC air filters are essential to maintaining indoor air quality. With regular use, they get clogged and will eventually require replacement. In today’s post, the local HVAC contractors and air cleaners at Sherrell Air Conditioning & Heating answer a question that we often get asked: is it okay to run an HVAC unit without the air filter?
What Air Filters Do
First, let’s examine why HVAC systems have air filters. An air filter consists of a filtering material called “media” that’s installed on a frame and mounted in front of the HVAC unit’s intake vent. It captures particles like dust and pollen as air passes through it. Since it’s placed at the intake vent, this helps ensure that the air is clean before it gets to the ductwork.
Air filters eventually get clogged. This is why they need to be replaced every three months as part of your regular HVAC maintenance routine. During cooling and heating seasons, however, air filter replacement may need to be done as often as once a month. The good news is, air filters are designed to be user-replaceable, meaning you won’t have to book an appointment with your HVAC technician when you need to replace it.
Is It Okay to Run an HVAC System Without an Air Filter?
If you’re wondering if an HVAC system can be run without an air filter, the answer is yes. But is it a good idea to do so?
The short answer is no. It may not impede air circulation, but removing air filters can cause many other problems down the line, including compromising your HVAC system’s lifespan and performance. For example, mold spores can get into crevices in the ductwork, where they will quickly multiply unnoticed. An increased concentration of mold spores in the air can trigger various kinds of respiratory problems, as well. In addition, dirt and dust may collect on your HVAC unit’s coils and make it less efficient. This may even result in premature failure.
You can easily tell when you need a new air filter with regular HVAC inspections. Air filter media is typically white, which means you can tell at a glance if it’s becoming dirty. Combined with scheduled HVAC maintenance, replacing your air filters in time can help maintain good indoor air quality, as well as reliable operation.
Sherrell Air Conditioning & Heating is your leading provider of heating and cooling services, including maintaining gas furnaces. Give us a call at (972) 216-1961 or (713) 595-4986. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.