The cabin air filter is an important part of any vehicle heating and cooling system. It helps protect passengers from the pollutants in the air they breathe. Learn more about this part of the vehicle and how to properly maintain it.

What Does a Cabin Air Filter Do?

1.Different cabin air filter

Regular cabin air filters can only function to inhibit the ingress of dust and particles.

Activated carbon cabin air filters can utilize the physical properties of granular activated carbon to absorb the air in a short period of time when the air is blocked. Other tiny objects and more harmful substances. Therefore, for comparison, the effect of activated carbon series air-conditioning filters is much better than ordinary filters. Some cabin air filters are also “combined” filters, which can also remove odors, diesel fumes and other pollutants. Combined filters usually have a layer of activated carbon that can react with chemicals in the air and capture them before they enter the cabin. The fibers in the filter media can also be electrostatically charged, so they will attract and hold dirt and contaminants more effectively.

Replace Cabin Air Filter

Many people would like to know what makes carbon fiber air filters more effective in removing pollutants than traditional particulate filters in car cabin air filter systems. The reason for the enhanced function of carbon fiber filters is its composition. Activated carbon, also known as activated carbon, is specially treated to increase its porosity, thereby improving its ability to absorb harmful gases and odors in the air. According to data from the Pennsylvania State University (PSU), each carbon particle used in an air filter will provide a large surface area so that the contaminants can be exposed to the active part of the filter medium to the greatest extent. The process of carbon air filter is called adsorption, in which pollutants in the air are trapped in the pore structure of the carbon media and can be treated.

These carbon filters can be used in a variety of products and solutions, such as air conditioners, exhaust fans, cabin air filters, and even water purification. When carbon technology is used in these various products, the carbon will remain in the environment for an unclear time, which will depend on the amount of carbon used in the filter and the conditions of the indoor space.

2.Evaporator clean

The cabin air filter is like a filter on a household stove or air conditioner. It can remove dust, pollen and pollen from the air entering the passenger compartment through the vehicle’s HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) system. The filter also helps to keep the A/C evaporator clean. This allows the A/C system to cool at maximum efficiency and reduces the accumulation of contaminants on the evaporator, which encourage the growth of microorganisms that can cause musty odors.

3.Trapping very small particles like COVID-19

The cabin air filter can prevent dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores, smoke, and even bacteria and viruses from entering your car. If the climate control system control is set to RECIRC, the filter can also trap these particles inside the vehicle.

Most dust filters will trap many particles as small as 0.3 microns, while trapping 95% to 99% of 1 to 3 microns in size. Human hair is about 100 microns in diameter, so we are talking about very small particles that can be captured by these filters. In contrast, the diameter of the COVID-19 virus is about 1.3 microns, so it will also fall within the range of particles captured by these filters.

4.Keeping healthy and cleaning air

Most of the latest models of cars are equipped with cabin air filters to capture the substances in the air and make the ride uncomfortable. reports that if you suffer from allergies, asthma or other health conditions that affect the health of the respiratory system, clean breathing air is particularly important. According to AutoZone, whether you are riding a steering wheel or a car, you should get healthy, clean air to breathe. According to research conducted by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), their research shows that indoor pollutant levels may be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels-sometimes 100 times higher. Although most people focus on providing indoor air quality solutions for indoor environments such as their homes or offices, cars are another important space for you to clean indoor air. Car manufacturers take into account this demand inside vehicles, so this is why cabin air filters are installed in these vehicles.

The best way to ensure clean air is to frequently replace the cabin air filter as recommended by the car manufacturer.

cabin air filter function
cabin air filter function
cabin air filter function

5.Trappingharmful gases

The filter performs “mechanical filtering”. This means that a fibrous material with pores of a certain size will capture particles larger than the pore size. The charcoal filter layer removes odors. Activated carbon is “activated”, which means chemical treatment and heat treatment to give it specific odor control properties. Each manufacturer has its own formula, based on tests performed on people with “nose sensitive” (including those who perform perfume testing). Charcoal traps odor-causing gas by adsorption (rather than absorption) and keeps it on the surface of the material. Because charcoal is porous and each hole is an exposed surface, the filter has a high ability to trap harmful gases.

As mentioned above, the cabin air filter prevents dust, dirt, pollen, bacteria and exhaust gas from entering the car’s HVAC system. In addition, these cabin filters will prevent bugs, leaves and other debris from clogging the cabin filter system. In the end, there must be clean air in the car, and the air filter in the car will especially play a role in keeping the air continuously clean, so that the passengers in the car will not have an impact on their health when in the space.

6.The role of the best cabin air filter

Is your cabin air filter inefficient at removing harmful, toxic chemicals and odors from the air and entering the car air? Many of us will use granular cabin filters in the car’s cabin air filter system to filter the air in narrow spaces, but when it comes to removing odors, the efficiency will be very low. When you want to remove peculiar smells in the air, it is usually recommended to switch and use activated carbon in-car air filters, which are specially designed to absorb peculiar smells in the air, but these filters only collect peculiar smells, not like other alternatives Eliminate odors like cars. The air filter will be placed in the car. The risk of a carbon fiber air filter is that it may cause these malodorous compounds and pollutants to be re-released into the air of your car, and may cause a decrease in indoor air quality. Therefore, finding a cabin air filter that can effectively eliminate harmful and toxic chemicals and odors in the air will be the best choice for your car’s air system.

In addition to providing better HVAC performance and a more comfortable driving experience for everyone in the vehicle, the enigine air filter also helps to ensure that your engine, fuel lines and radiators are free from pollution.

When Is It Time to Replace the Cabin Air Filter?

1.Replacement cycle

A simple dust-only filter should be used for two to three years or up to 30,000 miles depending on the working conditions. The filter may need to be replaced more frequently in dusty areas. Combination filters that should also trap odors should be replaced every year or every 15,000 miles. Refer to the owner’s manual for recommendations on specific maintenance intervals.

In your car’s user manual, you may find that it is recommended that you change the mileage markings on the cabin air filter, although they will vary by vehicle type and manufacturer. Champion Auto Parts reports that some recommend changes every 15,000 miles, while others recommend changes at least every 250,000-30,0000 miles. Each manufacturer has its own recommendations, so looking at the manual that fits your specific brand and model will provide you with the insights you need.

2.Symptoms that indicate my vehicle’s cabin air filter may benefit from a replacement

After the cabin air filter passes the 12-month or 12,000-mile mark, the air quality of the vehicle will begin to decline. If you find that the air conditioning and heating systems are not working properly, or the air in the car is obviously odorous and stale, it may be time to replace the filter.

In particular condition:

Reduce or weaken the airflow, even if the heating or air conditioning is set to high;

The cabin air intake pipe makes a whistling sound;

Musty and unpleasant odors are emitted from the air in the car;

Excessive noise during heating or cooling system operation.

Why should I replace the cabin air Filter in my car

3.The area where you drive

The area where you drive may also affect how often you change filters. In urban areas, people who drive in places with heavy traffic or poor air quality may need to change filters more frequently. If you live in a desert climate, the filter may quickly become clogged with dust and needs to be replaced frequently.

4.Different opinions from different people

Tom Porter, owner of highly rated Japanese Auto Masters in Virginia Beach, said that the cabin air filter is replaced every 15,000 to 25,000 miles or annually. Troy Roberts, owner of highly rated Bays Complete Auto Repair in Phoenix, recommends replacement every 30,000 miles, but drivers should check their owner’s manual first. Replacing the cabin air filter is a do-it-yourself project, but it can be difficult to remove, Porter said. He said: “You have to remove the glove box to use it.” “There are some chores. There are some clips and pins that need to be removed. If you don’t know what you are doing, you can break them when you pull them out. But in general Say, this is the accessible part. Most people can use Google and try it for themselves.

Why Should I Replace the Cabin Air Filter in my Car?

1.The benefit of replacing a cabin air filter

  • Reduce airflow

Clogged cabin filters will reduce the efficiency and flow of the air conditioning system. In addition, this will cause the vents to blow with less force, thereby reducing the overall cooling capacity of the AC system, and will also put additional stress on the AC blower motor.

  • Poor air quality

The filter removes road dust, soot, gaseous odors, pollutants and other pollutants from entering the ventilation system. Microorganisms will accumulate in the compartment, and their concentration may be 5 to 8 times higher than normal. An overly contaminated filter may produce dust, dirt or musty smell. When the air is turned on, the odor may become more pronounced and make the passenger compartment uncomfortable for passengers and pose a health risk.

Consider your heating and cooling system filters, or vacuum cleaner filters. After three months or so, they need a good cleaning or replacement. Now consider the road you drive on every day and how much pollutants your car is exposed to. The job of the cabin filter of a car is much more difficult. If your cabin filter has been in use for more than one year, you should check it and replace it if necessary.

The cabin filter is a simple component that should be replaced when necessary to keep the communication system working as efficiently as possible and to make the cabin as comfortable as possible for passengers. We recommend that you clean every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

Hope you have replaced the cabin air filters so that they can do their job efficiently and minimize the impact of allergens trying to enter the car.  If left unresolved, dirty filters may become clogged, limiting the amount of clean air entering the cabin, and preventing your heating or cooling system from working properly. Especially the cabin air filter, its purpose is to prevent external allergens and pollutants from entering the vents of the car to keep the air you breathe clean. By changing the cabin air filter routinely, you can enjoy clean air for the recommended 12 months or 12,000 miles.

  • Preventing expensive repairs

In addition to improving air quality, changing cabin air filters may prevent expensive repairs. “When the air is dirty, the air conditioner will work harder and the electric motor may burn out,” said Troy Roberts, the owner of the highly acclaimed Bays Complete Auto Repair in Phoenix.

  • Saving money

Tom Porter, owner of highly rated Japanese Auto Masters in Virginia Beach, said that the price of the cabin air filter is about $15 to $25. His labor fee is 36 to 46 dollars. Roberts said that his parts and labor costs are between $36 and $100.

Troy Roberts, owner of highly rated Bays Complete Auto Repair in Phoenix said: “High-end cars are more expensive.” “It depends on the brand and model. You can only get certain BMW filters from dealers.”

  • Saving mileage by changing cabin air filter

For fleet owners, taking care of everyone is not a matter of choice. Getting the best performance and efficiency from the fleet means keeping it at its best at all times. To save mileage by letting the filter work properly, few people will realize. Not only do you need to change the oil regularly, keep your tires inflated, and check for damage after each return, you also need to consider how to maintain the details of each car. Vehicles are fine-tuned machines, and every aspect can play a role in efficiency and power consumption. Although most fleet owners know that AC power can reduce your mileage and increase the price of each trip, not everyone realizes that there is a way to increase the efficiency of AC power and provide a working environment for drivers.

Your car has two air filters, and you can only replace one of them during regular engine maintenance on each car. In order for the air quality in the cabin to be good, you need to replace the cabin air filter approximately every 15,000 miles.

For the average U.S. driver, there is about one car trip per year, but your fleet may need to change more frequently because they work on the road. Even a lack of maintenance for a year is not advisable, but many car owners will drive the entire life of the car without replacing the cabin air filter.

  • Fewer allergens

Have allergies, especially allergies to any environment? You understand how serious these nasty allergens can become when they enter your back. The cabin air filter helps reduce the amount of allergens that may enter the cabin, which means less sneezing and no itchy nose. However, allergens and pollen will accumulate in your filter during the season when pollen is strong, so you may need to replace it as soon as possible.

  • Less smell

If the filter is not replaced for a long time, mold may form on it, resulting in an unpleasant smell. Mold can also harm your health because it inhales harmful gases. However, regular replacement of the cabin air filter can prevent inhalation of harmful molds.

  • Better HVAC airflow

The engine powers the heating and cooling system or HVAC system, so when the filter is dirty and clogged, your car must work harder to power the heat or air conditioning. However, when you have a clean and non-clogging filter, the engine will hardly work hard when powering the HVAC system. This means higher fuel efficiency, as well as more efficient air conditioning and heating, so you will stay cool in the hot summer and warm in the cold winter.

2.The influence of specific season

  • Spring

It blooms in spring, and the pollen, dust and pollutants in the vehicle are inhaled through the air conditioning and ventilation system. The cabin air filter located in the dashboard of the car cleans the incoming air and should be replaced approximately once a year. Dirty or clogged cabin air filters can cause pollutants to concentrate in your car, so that passengers inhale more smoke and particles in the car compared to walking along the street.

  • Winter

A recent maintenance survey found that 49% of cabin air filters were sold in the spring. The increase in the number of pollen, coupled with the benefits of cabin air filters for allergies, makes sales quite easy. However, some people might say that winter is a more important season for replacing car filters.

There are three main reasons for replacing the cabin air filter in winter:

#1. Increase in particulate matter emissions

Since cars are idle on cold winter mornings, exhaust gases emit harmful emissions that are harmful to drivers. The most destructive component in the exhaust pipe is particles. The diameter of particles emitted by vehicles ranges from 2 microns to 10 microns, which can aggravate the lungs when inhaled.

When the engine is cold, the particulate emissions from the vehicle’s exhaust pipe are higher. According to the Kansas City Light Vehicle Emissions Research, scientists found that as the temperature decreases, particulate emissions increase exponentially. In fact, this study found that for every 20°F drop in temperature, particulate matter emissions doubled.

One thing that can prevent exhaust particles from reaching the vehicle occupants is the cabin air filter. Some cabin air filters can even block particles smaller than 1 micron in diameter.

#2.Defroster performance

In winter, the benefits of cleaning the air filter are obvious. A clogged cabin air filter can limit the performance of the defroster and make the windshield more difficult to identify. If the cabin air filter becomes clogged, it creates a restriction that reduces the amount of hot air that the blower can deliver to the windshield, which reduces visibility and increases the time required to defrost the windows.

#3.Cabin air filters in summer and autumn may be cruel

After months of fighting with heavy pollen, dust, leaves, bugs and other debris, winter is the best time to start anew for customers’ cabin air filters.

This accumulation of debris restricts the airflow through the filter and causes heating and cooling problems. In the next few months, with no leaves, pollen or bugs to deal with, replacing the cabin air filter in winter will immediately solve the heating problem and help prevent cooling problems after the arrival of spring.

3. The effectiveness of cabin filters in fight against COVID-19


A spokesperson for the brand’s cabin filter said: “The size of this new virus is about 0.1 microns, which is about 500 times smaller than a human hair. But usually, coronaviruses attach to larger droplets, such as those caused by coughing or sneezing. These droplets are 10 to 1,000 times larger than the original virus. Because of their size, they quickly fell to the ground. It is extremely unlikely that contaminated droplets from the road will enter the cabin filter system of the vehicle from the outside air. Infected occupants in the vehicle are much more likely to be exposed to the virus. In any case, it is essential to thoroughly clean the outside air through a high-quality cabin air filter.” The cabin air filter cannot be regarded as part of “personal protective equipment”, such as masks. However, it does prevent irritating pollutants in traffic, such as brake dust, harmful gases, and pollen.

If the cabin filter is replaced regularly, only these detailed cleaning actions can be performed correctly. This time interval varies from vehicle manufacturer to vehicle manufacturer but is usually a period of one to two years. Many pilots are unaware of cabin filters or the benefits they provide, and the average replacement is only done every five years.

The filter prevents unpleasant odors and harmful gases (such as nitrogen oxides and ozone) from the outside air while removing almost 100% of harmful particles (such as fine dust). With a third-layer filter with a biologically functional coating, the cabin air filter can almost completely block allergens and prevent bacteria and mold from growing on the filter.

Bad Cabin Air Filter Symptoms

The debris, leaves, dust and pollen on the road block the air filter of the car. After riding for a few minutes, the windshield is so foggy that you have to press the defrost button. but why? The panel is set to outside air for heater operation, and there are no smokers in the car. You put your hand on the outlet of the defroster and there is almost no airflow. When you turn the blower switch to the high position, the noise level will rise, but the airflow is still weak.

When your cabin air filter needs to be replaced, although no warning lights are on, you may notice some signs:

Reduce air circulation in the passenger compartment

Decreased heating and air conditioning performance

Musty smell in the compartment

The cabin air intake pipe may start to make an unusual howling

dirty cabin air filter
dirty cabin air filter

Bad Cabin Air Filter Causes

1. Problems that Occur when the cabin air Filter is Replaced Irregularly

Over time, the cabin air filter became full of contaminants and trapped debris. As a result, older cabin air filters can cause poor performance of the air conditioning system, resulting in weaker air flowing from the cabin vents. It can also cause unfiltered air circulation in the cabin, which can affect you and your passengers.

After using the dust/odor filter, the ability to absorb odors declines rapidly after one year of use. For filters that only use dust, the filter media will eventually become clogged, resulting in restricted airflow, which may adversely affect the operation of heaters, defrosters, and air conditioners. To make matters worse, a dirty cabin air filter may breed mold or bacteria in a dark and humid environment.

Failure to replace dirty and clogged filters will affect the efficiency of the car’s heating and cooling system. Inefficiency can cause other problems, including loss of air volume, unpleasant odors in the cabin or premature failure of HVAC components. If the cabin air filter is not replaced, it may cause various problems. When you don’t have a fresh and clean filter, it will start to clog debris. This may reduce the efficiency of your vehicle’s HVAC system and may cause damage. Moreover, if the cabin air filter has a long enough service life and is not replaced, it may start to mold, which may also cause greater damage.

Over time, these pleated paper filters may become full of dust and dirt. They can even accumulate larger leaves, dead insects and other items that are allowed to enter the system. If you fail to replace the filter at the recommended interval, these contaminants can clog the filter, putting additional pressure on the blower motor and possibly making you sick. There are many manufacturers that replace cabin air filters, and even companies that make washable and reusable cabin air filters.

As mentioned above, the function of the cabin air filter is to protect your engine, fuel line and radiator from pollution. Therefore, the result is that if your cabin air filter is left unattended for too long, it will not only damage cabin comfort and HVAC performance, but also affect your car engine. But, of course, if the engine compartment filter is left unattended and blocked for too long, the air conditioning system will also begin to suffer damage. Consider the increase in allergens, the degraded HVAC performance, and the inability to defog windows properly.

2.Consequences of using unqualified inferior cabin air filter

The air filter is clogged, and dirt may cause other problems for you and your car. One is your health decline, because pollutants move in the air and cause allergic reactions or breathing problems. Dirty filters cannot work properly and filter out pollutants. Therefore, it is very important to replace the filters in the car frequently. Consider replacing it every February before the spring allergy season begins.

Another problem with clogged filters is poor HVAC efficiency. As a result, the heating and cooling system of the car must work harder, which may cause the blower motor to burn out. Inefficiency can also cause loss of airflow, which can make your car uncomfortable as the season changes.

The reduced airflow also affects the system’s ability to remove window fog or condensation. Dirty air can cause condensation on the windshield, making the road ahead difficult to see. By replacing the filter, you should notice that the windows are clearer and have better visibility.

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