My House Doesn’t Have An Air Filter – Why And What To Do?

  • Post category:HVAC
  • Post comments:0 Comments

It is paramount that all houses with an air conditioner have an air filter. Could it be possible that you have an air conditioner in your home but no air filter? We researched this question to show you the way forward. 

The reason your home may not have an air filter is because you use a heating system such as a boiler. But if you have an HVAC system, you probably do have an air filter, and you might not know where it is.

The most likely places to find it include:

  • The point where the air duct meets the air handler
  • Return air vent

Keep reading as we discuss where to find your air filter, why your home needs one, and how to keep it in good working condition to last longer.

Collage of an air filter and a modern home, My House Doesn't Have An Air Filter - Why And What To Do?

Where Is The Air Filter In Your Home?

If you use an air conditioner to heat or cool your home, you most likely have an air filter.

Your air conditioning system can operate without a filter, but HVAC technicians recommend that you have one. Otherwise, you may pay hefty amounts for repairs.

Man opening ceiling air vent to replace dirty HVAC air filter

You may not be able to find the air filter if you just moved into a new home or apartment. Still, you need to locate it because you will need to clean or replace it. 

Regardless of the reason that there is no air filter, you should arrange to install one as soon as possible.

The previous owners of your home could have moved out without replacing a damaged filter, or they may have misplaced it. There could be myriad reasons why there isn't a filter.

A filter is located in either of the following two places:

Point Where The Air Duct Meets The Air Handler

First of all, HVAC units are normally installed in the basement, attic, or the back of a closet. Also, large homes may have more than one HVAC system.

When you are looking for the air filter, you fill find it located next to the furnace or in the air handler.

The filter is usually under a cover, either hinged or removable, like the one shown below. When you open it, the air filter is revealed. 

Have a look at this air filter cover on Amazon.

If you live in a large house and have checked out one HVAC unit, and it doesn’t have an air filter, check out the next one until you find it.

These units may be in a vertical or horizontal position.  

Return Air Vent

HVAC Return Air Wall Register Vent

Some HVAC units are installed in places that are difficult to access. The next place to look for the air filter is in your return vent. 

A large house may have air filters in both the unit and the return vent. Even if you found it in your air handler, or next to the furnace, have a look at the return vent, too.

A return air vent is either a rectangle or a big square, much bigger than a normal air vent. You will find the vent on the wall or ceiling. 

You can access the filter by unscrewing the cover. You could also pry open the cover with a flat head screwdriver if held in place by a tab.

Do You Need An Air Filter In Your Home?

Everybody is comfortable for as long as there is an air conditioning system that works without any issues. So do you really need an air filter?

An air filter is necessary due to the following reasons:

Clean Air

An air filter cleans the air before it enters your home by trapping dust, debris, and particles. By the time air enters your room, the air is clean.

If there’s no filter in place, then the quality of the air decreases, aggravating allergies or respiratory problems. Clean air can help you have a good night’s rest every night. 

In the event that you have an air purifier but not an air filter, the purifier will have to work harder to keep the air clean.  

Reduction Of Dust

It is impossible to prevent dust from entering your home, but you can minimize its entry with an air filter. It makes dusting your home easier and keeps the air clean, as seen in the previous paragraph. 

In fact, the experts recommend a MERV rating of 8 to control a moderate amount of dust from entering your home. A higher MERV will increase your protection from finer dust, debris, and particles. 

Better Health And Allergy Relief

With clean air comes better health. As we mentioned earlier, clean air is devoid of dust and particles. Your chance of developing respiratory issues is reduced. Allergies, too, can be kept at bay. 

HVAC System Will Last Longer

We all want our air conditioning systems to last a long time without any problems. An air filter can help you with this.

When dust builds up in the most integral parts of your system, it can slowly begin to malfunction. These parts include the coil, motor, fan blade, duct work, and vents. 

Prevents Condensation

Without a filter, the accumulation of moisture will take place. The condensation drain cannot drain moisture from your AC system.

When this happens, an increase of moisture can result, causing a build-up of mold and mildew, which can lead to health problems. 

Low Maintenance Costs

An air filter prevents the accumulation of dust, which can prevent your unit from functioning efficiently. This can lead to frequent repairs, meaning you'll be paying more to have the unit fixed or have parts replaced. 

Maintaining Your Air Filter To Last Longer

Person in a protective rubber glove washes in the sink air filter of the ventilation return duct blocked by dust and debris

As discussed above, air filters are very important. They keep dust and debris out of the air you breathe inside your home. They do get clogged and require frequent cleaning. 

You shouldn’t allow your air filters to get clogged. This is because clogged filters will force the air conditioner to work harder to push the air through the filters. Subsequently, your AC will use more energy and shorten its lifespan.

For your AC unit to remain in good working condition for longer, you also need an air filter in good working condition. The following are ways to take care of your air filter:

Regularly Clean Your Air Filters

Check out this air filter on Amazon.

You can clean your filters like the ones above once or twice a month. Before you begin, turn off your AC. Open the cover, and gently remove the filters. Start by vacuuming with a handheld vacuum cleaner. 

Afterward, mix one part vinegar with one part water. Pour the mixture into a bucket or wide sink that can accommodate your filter.

Submerge the filter in this mixture for one hour. If it has too much grime, let it soak for at least two hours, then remove it, and let it dry.

Alternatively, you could use a tiny drop of dishwashing detergent and mix it with a sufficient amount of water. Soak your filter in this soapy water for 15 minutes.

Rinse it by spraying it with a watering hose. A shower hose is also fine. Don’t use a pressurized hose, as it could damage or tear your filter. Allow the filter to dry, then put it back.

Replace Your Filter

A person removing an old dirty air filter from a ceiling intake vent

If your AC has disposable filters that are normally framed in cardboard, simply replace the dirty one with a new, clean one. Check the size and then buy the appropriate filter from your local hardware store.

Final Words

Your home may not have an air filter because you use a heating system like a boiler.

An air filter goes hand-in-hand with an air conditioner, so if you don't have any in your home, make an effort to install one. 

If you don't know where the air filter might be, look for it until you locate one or all of them if there is more than one.

An air filter has benefits, the main one being that it allows you to breathe clean air. The consequences can be dire if your AC unit does not have an air filter.

Don't forget that maintaining your air filter is just as crucial as maintaining your air conditioner.

You are welcome to learn more by reading our previous posts below:

Which Way Does An Air Filter Go In The Ceiling

Types Of Air Filters For Your Home

Can You Clean Home Air Filters Or Replace Them

Leave a Reply