Do Central Air Conditioners Need a Filter?

All central heating and cooling systems must have an air filter, but it may be more difficult to locate it in some HVAC units than in others. It is usually found in the return air duct or in the fan compartment before the return air reaches the air controller.


, the central air conditioner has a filter. In fact, most central air conditioning units have two or more filters.

These filters clean the air and ensure good air quality as the unit circulates between indoor and outdoor air. But what about air purifiers? Do you also need an electric air purifier or a UV air purifier? It depends on your home. Air purifiers are useful for removing the smallest particles that can pass through a filter. Because filters have an upper limit to their power in a residential air conditioning system, air purifiers can help provide more thorough air cleaning, eliminating more than 98% of contaminants when combined with the right filter set.

Once again, professionals can ensure that you have the right type of air purifier (such as a UV air purifier) to match the filters. A central air conditioning filter is usually made of spun fibreglass or pleated paper or cloth, enclosed in a rectangular cardboard frame. Fibreglass filters, the cheapest, are approximately one inch thick and are common in older systems. Newer models of central air conditioning use thicker pleated filters.

As long as your HVAC unit is operating, it should never work without an air filter. Dirt is the main cause of air conditioners breaking down, so operating the unit without air filters installed can cause serious damage. The purpose of your air filter is to clean the air in your home and keep the air conditioning system free of dust and dirt, so it's important to operate the air conditioner only with a filter installed. The lifespan of filters varies, so the number of times it is necessary to replace the air filters in the return duct compared to the air controller varies because they have different sizes. Since air filters normally trap dirt, dust, hair, and other contaminants, operating the air conditioner without a filter will cause dirt to recirculate throughout the house.

We evaluate how well an air filter removes dust, pollen and smoke from the air, and see how freely air flows through the filter at any fan speed. If you ask this question, you probably have the feeling that you need to improve indoor air quality, but you're not sure if air filters are the answer. No, it is not recommended to operate the air conditioner without a filter and it is generally hazardous to the health of the air conditioner. To optimally fulfill this purpose, most filters are made with a unique material, such as fiberglass or a special cloth, which traps particles from the air it contains. It's important to know before buying what size filter you need, what level of protection you'll need, and if you'll need a custom air filter.

Now that you know why you have 2 air filters in your HVAC system, let's identify where they are located. If your home has too many pollutants in the air circulating through it, special devices for indoor air quality can help, and the first step is usually to install special air filters. However, this means that the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system must work harder to move air through the filter, and not all systems are equipped to do so. When you replace air filters at the recommended intervals (usually 90 days), dust has no chance of accumulating to the point of covering the air conditioner intake grilles.

Because 1-inch air filters are the most common, some homeowners may think it's OK to place 1-inch air filters to fit in a 2-, 3-, or 4-inch air filter slot. An air conditioner works by drawing air out of the room and passing it through copper tubes filled with freon.


the air conditioner at any time without an air filter is not recommended because of the permanent damage it can cause to the HVAC system.