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Can You Run a Furnace Without a Filter?

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound
January 30, 2023
Can You Run a Furnace Without a Filter?

Are you dealing with furnace issues and dirty filters? Call Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today at 918-212-0122 for furnace service.

With everything else on your to-do list, it can be challenging to remember chores like replacing your furnace’s filter regularly. Then, it’s only at the most inconvenient time that you remember it’s been too long since you’ve last changed it! Now what?

If your filter is dirty to the point where you don’t want to put it back in your furnace, you may wonder, “can you run a furnace without a filter until you can replace it?” The experienced HVAC team at Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers trusted HVAC installation, and we’re here to help break down this all-too-common situation. 

The Purpose of Furnace Filters

To answer whether or not you can run a furnace without a filter, it’s vital to first understand the purpose of these air filters in the first place.

Your furnace works by taking the air circulating throughout your home and heating it. In the process, the air can pick up harmful particles like dust and dirt that you wouldn’t want to breathe in.

The filter helps control indoor air quality by filtering out and trapping these particles. As a result, only the clean air circulates throughout your home.

When a filter becomes too clogged, it can’t function as intended. This can result in the following:

  • Poor air quality as dust and dirt circulates throughout your home
  • Cool air circulating, even if the heat is on
  • A worn-out HVAC system that leads to costly repairs down the road
  • Expensive monthly energy bills as your blower fan will work overtime to get the job done
  • A fire hazard due to internal dust buildup

Why You Shouldn’t Run Your Furnace Without a Filter

Filters keep your indoor air clean and your HVAC system functioning at its best. So, can you run a furnace without a filter? The answer, technically, is yes. However, to keep your furnace running properly, extend its lifespan, and ensure clean indoor air, HVAC professionals always recommend installing a clean filter before turning on your furnace.

Furnace filters have an important job that you don’t want to live without. This is especially true if you have family members with allergies or other sensitivities. 

Not having a filter will cost you more long-term than replacing it regularly. It’s a chore no one wants to do, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The Filter Replacement Process

The best way to keep your furnace functioning properly is to replace your filter every three months.

In the winter, your furnace works more often, so you should check your filter once a month. If it looks dirty, replace it, even if it hasn’t been an entire month or two since the last replacement. It’s hard to remember this chore, but it’s essential to be on top of it.

Fortunately, you can replace your furnace’s filter in four easy steps:

1. Find Your Filter and Check for Dirt

Turn off your furnace before locating the filter. The filter is either in the furnace or the air vent. Once you spot it, take it out and examine it.

Does it appear dirty and dusty? If so, it’s time for a replacement.

2. Figure Out What Type of Filter Your System Needs

While most HVAC systems operate the same way, some brands require different sizes and types of filters than others. Consult your furnace’s manual or research online what your specific system requires. You can use the dirty filter to see what size filter to buy.

3. Dispose of the Old Filter

If your filter is disposable (most of them are), throw it away. Some filters, on the other hand, are reusable. Double-check what yours is. If your filter is reusable, wash it thoroughly in the sink before locking it back in place.

4. Insert Your Clean Filter

Now it’s time to insert the clean filter into your furnace. Ensure it is completely secure and ready to go before turning your furnace back on. You should see arrows on the new filter that indicate which direction it should slide in. 

If you have trouble replacing your furnace filter, you can call a local company to do it for you. The HVAC experts at Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing are always happy to help.

Remembering to Replace Your Furnace Filter 

When winter comes around and the holidays are in full force, it’s more challenging than ever to remember to change your dirty filter. To remember to replace your furnace filter, try these tips:

  • Schedule a reminder on your phone to notify you to check your filter every three months
  • Mark it on a wall calendar or anywhere else where you’ll see it often
  • Have extra replacement filters handy at all times so you can replace a dirty filter at a moment’s notice

In short, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, especially during the winter when you rely on your furnace the most.

Count on the Local, Reputable Team at Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

At Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we often hear the question, “can you run a furnace without a filter?” While it is possible, it isn’t the best idea. Without the filter, dust and dirt particles will accumulate in your air ducts, circulate in the air, and lead to a less efficient furnace. Replace the filter every three months to keep you and your family safe and warm during even the coldest weather.

Do you want to learn why your furnace is black? If you have further questions, turn to the highly trained and experienced team at Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today. As a locally owned and operated company with deep roots in the community, we guarantee professional and friendly service from start to finish.

Can you run a furnace without a filter? For more information or to request furnace service, call Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today at 918-212-0122.

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound

Cassie Pound is the Vice President of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric with locations in Tulsa, Glenpool, and Bartlesville, Oklahoma.