The cabin air filter is an often-overlooked vehicle component. It’s typically checked when you bring in your car for an oil change. Some customers decline to get it replaced, whether it’s because they don’t know how important it is, or because the service center is overcharging for the filter. However, changing your cabin air filter can make a huge difference in your vehicle’s performance. Read on to find some of the top reasons you should consider regularly changing out your cabin air filter.
Pollution is the most commonly cited reason to regularly change out your cabin air filter. Because the filter is basically all that stands between the exterior air and interior air of your car, the filter blocks a lot of the smog and dirty exhaust let out by other vehicles on the road. Regularly changing out your air filter helps ensure these undesirable pollutants don’t find their way into your car’s cabin.
It seems unlikely to find twigs and leaves inside your cabin air filter — these are larger objects that many assume wouldn’t get sucked into the filter. However, many drivers find their air filters clogged with leaves, twigs, acorns, and other natural debris, especially if they park in areas with a lot of trees or bushes. These can have a huge effect on the efficiency of your air system, and need to be removed.
Besides just pollutants and debris, cabin air filters also help drastically reduce the amount of allergens that can get into your vehicle. Pollen could easily get into your vehicle without the air filter, and the less often you change your filter, the more pollen will build up, which could cause more of it to get into your vehicle.
When your cabin air filter gets clogged, your air conditioner has to work harder to push cool air through the filter. This can result in a noisy or ineffective air conditioning system. This can be a huge pain during those hot summer months — if your air filter is full of debris and dirt, it’ll take way longer for your cabin to cool down.
Because your air conditioner or heater has to work harder to cool or heat your car’s cabin area, your engine has to work harder to power these systems. Surprisingly, having a clogged filter can actually impact your fuel efficiency because your engine is having to put out more energy than it should.
Ideally you should get your cabin air filter changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, but it’s a good idea to consult your manual. Many vehicles have difficult-to-access filters, so its best to bring your car into the shop to get the filter changed out!
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