What Happens If I run my AC Without a Filter & How does it Functions?

What Happens If I run my AC Without a Filter?

The comforts provided by an Air Conditioner is incomparable. As sleeping is the best part of life, ac will enhance the way of comforts to peaks. The sleeping story will be fine when everything is going well. Only the problem that comes to disturb our sleep is it’s not working behavior. One among them is running an AC without a filter …why can’t we run our AC without its filter?… What Happens If I run my AC without a Filter?

The absence of filters in an AC for a long time will allow the dust to accumulate on the internal parts will let them damage quickly and very badly. Some of them are 

High Energy Consumptions

Less Cooling Effect

Lowers the air quality

Water Leaking

Bad Smell

All these reasons are not for the single and short-duration use of air filter, the prolonged use of an AC will cause the above effects. Believing that you are here to find out the causes that happen when you run AC without a filter, right!!!

Don’t need to worry at all, this article will make you aware of the above following causes in-depth details. Before starting we need to know what actually a filter does in an AC for a better understanding of a topic.

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What Happens If I run my AC Without a Filter

What is the function of an air filter in an Air conditioner?

Firstly, the hot air in the room is getting sucked by the internal AC unit in order to blow cool air. But the air in the room may be an adobe for many molds, bacteria, viruses…etc. The contaminated air also gets sucked by the AC unit. 

In general, the function of a filter is to trap all the dust particles and contaminants. In the same way, an AC unit with the air filters will trap/filter the contaminated air to fresh and clear air.  Thus, the hot contaminated air gets passes through the filter inside the AC unit and comes out as fresh/cool air by circulating the air.

Consequences of running an AC without a filter

A unit of the system will work perfectly only when the other components of its work. Similarly, the absence of filter in AC will result in the following sequences like,

High Energy Consumptions

Though the use of an AC will increase the energy bills, the absence of filter will increase the energy bills than regular. Because the non filtered dust entered in the AC unit will create debris on the evaporator coil will consume more power to cool. Here the role of an evaporator coil is to freeze up the coil in order to blow cool air into the room. The high energy consumption to cool down the room will also increase the energy bill to the peak.

Less Cooling Effect

As the main of the AC is to cool down the room, it’s just a useless thing if it not blows cool air. Filter absence will allow the dust-filled air to deposit on the evaporator coils which is present right next to the filters. The dust debris will not let the evaporator coil to freeze effectively. The lesser freeze effect on the coils will result in a low cool effect in the room.

Lowers the Air Quality

The main use of having a filter is to get fresh and clean air. The absence of filters in the AC unit will always allow the contaminated air back into the room. This contaminated air from the AC vents will lower the air quality. People who suffer from dust allergies, asthma…etc will affect more. 

Water Leaking

Water Leaking is a normal thing in an AC but we need to check when there is continuous water leakage. This water leakage happens when the un-filtered dust gets deposited on the drain pan. The use of a drain pan is to drain out the condensed water drips off from the evaporator coil. The clogged drain pan will not allow the condensed water to flow through it. The pool of drain water will release back into the AC unit causes continuous leakage.

Bad Smell

Who can tolerate a bad smell from the Air conditioner…An air conditioner without a filter will allow dust, bacteria,…into the internal parts like duct pipe, drain pan. This clogged the parts by pooled water. The pooled water which helps the molds to grow fast. The developed molds release a bad smell in the room. 

Weird Sounds

Sounds from AC …! Yes, isn’t it sounds weird!!! The unfiltered air enters into the AC unit and makes the evaporator coil to block its freezing. The freeze evaporator coil suddenly tends to break and results in a cracking sound. And also the dust debris on the fan motor will damage the motor performance, results in weird sounded from the AC unit.

There is also a chance to get all these consequences at once. So, this is what happens when you run an AC without a filter.


Finally, you need to be aware of damaged/worn out the filter to get replaced with a new one with a proper HVAC serviceman at regular intervals of time. So, set the time as a reminder to get the filters checked by them. Remember, you need to run your AC without filter only for short and emergency time only.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q) How do I know if my AC filter is dirty? An air filter gets dirt based on many factors. But, it is always the best option to check the filter at least once a month if you are a frequent user of AC or you can check for 3 months as a normal user.

Q) Do all air conditioners have filters? Yes, every air conditioner has an air filter in it. But the types of filters may change from one air conditioner to other air conditioner based on the brand, capacity..etc

Q) Can you put a wet filter in your air conditioner? No, you should not put a wet filter before drying as it will create molds on it.

Image source: advanceautoparts

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