What Exactly Does A Cabin Air Filter Do?
The cabin air filter in your vehicle does exactly what it sounds like it does! It filters the air, bad odors and contaminants, that enter your vehicle’s passenger compartment through the HVAC ducts. Think of it as the filter in your furnace at home. The only difference is that the furnace filter doesn’t work half as efficiently as the one in your vehicle. Changing the cabin air filter is a standard repair that we do on our customer’s vehicles in Midland MI.
How Well Do They Trap Contaminants?
Their design is somewhat similar to other HVAC filters you may have seen; pleated fibrous material fitted into a cartridge. Though smaller than the one in your house, they work twice as well. Your typical home HVAC filter will filter out contaminants that range in size from 5-10 microns. Anything less than 5 microns starts slipping through, which includes many bacterial contaminations. Cabin air filters, on the other hand, are meant to trap contaminants as small as 3 microns!
Can They Filter Bad Odors?
Cabin air filters are meant to trap contaminants such as bugs and large debris, bacterial microbes, fungal spores, pollen, dander, exhaust soot, and basically anything else that you can imagine. Some filters are designed to filter bad odors, but not all cabin air filters do this. If it’s a feature you want yours to have then be certain to ask your mechanic for it specifically!
When Should I Replace My Cabin Air Filter?
The recommended time-frame interval is every 10k-12k miles. However, if you drive a lot or live in a big city, or anywhere that may produce a lot of air pollution, then it’s likely that yours will need replacement much sooner than that. You won’t see a light on your dash that says it’s time to change the cabin air filter, but there are some tell-tale signs that you can look out for.
These signs include reduced airflow from your vents or a noticeable decrease in the efficiency of your HVAC. You may notice a musty smell that is similar to what some old basements smell like. Sometimes there is a slight whistling from the cabin air-intake when the filter is clogged. This list isn’t all-inclusive though, and your specific situation may have no signs at all, or even more than stated here.
Nevertheless, if you notice these signs in tandem, it’s probably a good idea to have it checked!
Where Can I Go to Have It Checked?
Most mechanics should be able to check your cabin air filter for you. Not all mechanics have cabin air filters on-hand though, and once you pull it out to check it, you loosen up the contaminants within. That can be a risk factor that you may not want to deal with!
All A’s Automotive & Transmission Repair, located at 1300 S Poseyville Rd, Midland Mi, can check your cabin air filter, and replace it when needed! Call (989)631-4672 to make an appointment, or click the link above for direct access to the appointments page! Be sure to check the “specials” page for some great money-saving offers that you won’t want to miss!