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Don't suffer this allergy season, your new air filter may help you

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

Why replace the cabin air filter?

When the windows are closed, the car's air filter provides fresh air for the passengers in the vehicle. Like filters on domestic heating systems or air-conditioning devices, in-car air filters prevent dust, pollen, and other allergens from entering the car.

As an essential part of heating/air conditioning and ventilation systems, clogged car filters will reduce air conditioners and defrosters' efficiency and even reduce gasoline mileage. If ignored, over time, a severely clogged filter will reduce airflow and eventually cause the HVAC system's blower motor to malfunction.

Most car cabin air filters are made of tightly-woven fabric, usually folded into a series of ridges and valleys surrounded by soft rubber gaskets. These filters are designed to capture pollen, bacteria, dust, and exhaust gas, making it impossible to enter the vehicle's HVAC system, while still providing enough fresh air for the driver and passengers.

Although cabin filters can prevent most leaves, bugs, and other debris from entering the vehicle, some filters also contain deodorizing materials, such as charcoal or baking soda, to further "repel" air entering the car.

When to replace the cabin air filter?

After the winter driving season, it is always good to consider replacing both the engine and the cabin air filter. After several months of driving on roads full of leaves, acorns, sand, and salt, the two filters may be clogged. As expected, they should be replaced immediately.

Based on typical driving conditions, the Car Maintenance Committee recommends replacing the cabin air filter every 20,000 km. For many drivers, this is equivalent to twice a year. In Canada, it makes the most sense to replace these filters in the fall and spring.

How to find the cabin air filter

Although similar, the cabin air filter's exact size and shape depend on the make and model of the vehicle. The correct installation of the filter in the filter housing is essential to ensure that contaminants are captured.

To determine whether your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter, its type, and where to find it, please read the owner's manual first. Usually, the cabin air filter is located behind the glove box, under the dashboard, or under the car hood near the windshield.

On many vehicles, the interior air filter can be replaced without tools. However, it is not uncommon for this work to require the use of some basic hand tools-mainly to be able to access the compartment containing the filter.

Dirty or clogged cabin air filters can also produce a persistent, unpleasant musty odor inside the vehicle. This is one of the reasons why you should never simply clean the cabin air filter and reinstall it. Unfortunately, you cannot see what might cause the odor.

If you have taken the time to find and remove the old filter, replacing the filter with a new one is an inexpensive way to help you and your passengers breathe better and relax during this allergy season. Our certified technicians can also answer any questions or install new cabin air filters at any time. Don't wait and suffer this allergy season.


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