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Why Changing Your Cabin Air Filter is A Necessity…..

You are probably aware that your vehicle’s engine has an air filter, but did you know that there is also one in your car’s HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) system?

Cabin air filters often live in the shadows of their more popular cousins — the engine air filter and oil filter — and some drivers don’t even know they exist. The cabin air filter performs the same duties for your HVAC system as the engine air filter does for your car’s engine.

The cabin air filter is a small pleated filter made of multi-fiber paper cotton or other engineered material. Before entering the passenger compartment, outside air is directed through this filter to trap debris and contaminants inside the filter.

A cabin air filter cleans the air entering the vehicle. It keeps dust, dirt, pollen, bacteria, and exhaust gases from entering your vehicle’s HVAC system. A clogged cabin air filter will block the flow of fresh air coming in and out of the HVAC system. It will also restrict the air entering your vehicle’s ventilation system. Vital to clean air inside the car, the cabin air filter keeps the air inside the car fresh so you and your passengers can breathe easy.

Besides improving air quality, your cabin air filter can also affect vehicle safety. The Filter Manufacturers Council estimates that 40 million Americans suffer from allergies caused or made worse by airborne particulates. By removing those contaminants, a cabin air filter can reduce or eliminate symptoms such as sneezing, blurred vision, runny nose, and headaches that could distract a driver and result in a collision. Replacing the cabin air filter may also prevent an expensive repair. Unfiltered, dirty air will force your air conditioner to work harder causing the motor to possibly burn up.

Your cabin air filter should not be cleaned and reinstalled. Recommendations on when a cabin air filter should be replaced vary by manufacturer — some say every 12,000 or 15,000 miles, others longer — and how often can depend on how much you drive and where.

Check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. If you drive in heavy traffic in an urban area that has poor air quality, you could need to replace the cabin air filter annually or even more often. However, that also could be true in a desert climate where there is a lot of dust to filter out.

If you don’t change your cabin air filter, the filter will become more clogged with dirt and debris and the efficiency of the filter and your car’s HVAC system will be compromised. The air volume into your passenger compartment will be continually reduced which will lead to the issue of foul odors inside your car. The simple act of changing your cabin air filter will dramatically improve the air quality in your vehicle.

While there is no warning light that comes on when your cabin air filter needs changing, there are some signs that you may notice:

  • Reduced air circulation inside your passenger compartment
  • Diminished heating and air conditioning performance
  • Musty odor  in the cabin of the vehicle
  • Cabin air intake ducting may begin to make an unusual whistling sound

If you observe one or more of these signs and need to replace your cabin air filter, you’re in luck. Protect yourself, your passengers, and your HVAC system. Give us a call and our staff here at Koester will be happy to help!

The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

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