The cabin air filter is a useful device. To serve its functions efficiently, here are some tips to your car cabin air filter maintenance that would be essential.
That means ensuring it’s always in good working condition, especially if you have been driving in severe conditions. And if the filter clogs with too much dirt, installing a new one.
Here are the ways to make use of the cabin air filter.
Check it Periodically
Inspecting the cabin air filter allows you to tell when it’s about to fail early enough.
That way, it’s unlikely that you will be driving around with an ineffective filter.
The cabin air filters in most vehicles are easy to access and even remove. It would only take you less than five minutes, and you have it in your hands.
Often, a visual examination is enough to tell if the filter is functioning properly.
You will see debris and dirt on the air intake side, and that can help you to tell if the pores are clogged.
Replacing a clogged filter is one option and you can also clean it. But that depends on the type of filter. Which brings us to the next way to maintain these filters.
Clean or Wash the Cabin Air Filter
Some cabin air filters can be cleaned and reused.
These are filters that use a fabric material as the filtration media. Paper and carbon cabin air filters should never be washed. Instead, replace them. Water would damage the paper and make the filter unusable.
Here is how to clean a car cabin air filter.
To clean a fabric or the cabin air filter washable type, you may use a filter cleaner and water. Start by removing the larger debris such as leaves, bugs, and others. Spray the surfaces of the filter with the cleaner to soak the dirt and grime.
After some time, rinse the filter using low-pressure water and from the cleaner side to the dirty or air intake side. Allow the filter to dry out completely before reinstalling it. A wet filter material may not function as required. If the filter was the oiled type, use filter oil to re-oil it.
Avoid Dusty or Highly Polluted Environments
Dust is one of the most harmful pollutants for automotive cabin air filters.
It clogs it up too rapidly and you may find yourself having to replace the filter too soon. It’s not unusual to have to change the filter after only 5 000 miles if the conditions are too dusty.
If you can, avoid such driving conditions. Cities that have soot or smog particles and other contaminants in the air may also cause a cabin air filter to become less porous within a short time.
In addition to maintaining your cabin air filter, ensure you install the right one for your environment.
A restrictive filter captures most particles. However, it may not be the best option in places that are often dusty, such as deserts. In these driving conditions, for a filter that offers better airflow.
A restrictive filter is more advisable if looking for a device that will protect you and your passengers from allergens.
You may also want to choose a carbon cabin air filter if looking for a filter that will remove odors for a fresher car cabin.
These types of filters also suit situations where the air is full of exhaust fumes and other noxious gases.
Things to do that Keep Allergens Away
A cabin air filter is supposed to (and does) improve the quality of air inside your vehicle. However, you cannot expect it to do everything and be 100% efficient. To prevent allergens from accumulating in the cabin, follow these tips.
- Dust mites are notorious allergens that hide in dusty conditions. Ensure that you regularly vacuum your vehicle’s interior to remove these organisms
- Mold is another source of allergens in the form of spores. Mold grows in damp places and ensuring dry surfaces can discourage its appearance. Always wipe spills the very moment they occur
- Ensure that windows are closed most of the time and especially if the air outside contains allergens such as pollen or dust. Look to see that the windows are not leaving spaces and that they seal properly
- Wipe the interior of your car with a piece of cloth to remove particles that may cause allergies. The surfaces include the steering wheel, doors, and the dashboard.
- Run the AC on recirculation when the windows are closed. This ensures the outside air does not enter the system. Instead, the relatively cleaner air in your cabin circulates again and again
4 Common Cabin Air Filter Questions
Cabin air filters are one of the least known about filters in a car.
Many vehicle owners do not know if their vehicles have it, or even where to find the filter. Being an essential part of a vehicle, we thought answering the questions you might have about the cabin air filter might be useful.
So here we go.
Does a cabin air filter affect AC?
It does. If the filter is clogged, the AC system has to work harder to push air through the filter. The resulting strain the AC can reduce its motor’s lifespan. It can even make it to burn out.
Does a cabin air filter affect mileage?
A dirty cabin air filter, contrary to what some people believe, does not affect gas mileage. However, it affects the efficiency of the AC system, and may cause the blower motor to require more power.
Do I need a cabin air filter?
A cabin air filter removes particles and gaseous pollutants from the air passing through the HVAC system.
In today’s world where the amount of contaminants in the air is high, a cabin air filter is an essential device. It protects the occupants of a vehicle from most of these pollutants, some of which are a health risk.
Cabin air filters also make the cabin air fresher and rides more comfortable. Without it, the cabin environment would be full of airborne pollutants leading to lots of harmful effects or uncomfortable breathing.
Allergen suffers, especially, would find the air had full to their health.
Does my car have a cabin air filter?
If it was manufactured before the year 2000, there’s a good chance that it doesn’t have a cabin air filter.
If it came later than that, you probably have the filter somewhere at the back of the glove box, under the dashboard, or underneath the hood.
Vehicle manufacturers today consider the cabin air filter a necessary component.
If unsure about whether your car has this type of vehicle air filter, you may read its manual.
Alternatively, you can ask a mechanic or vehicle expert to help you find out if there’s one.
They will know where to look for the filter or even know outright if there’s one or not.