Cabin air filters clean the air that enters the cabin. They improve ventilation by sifting the air for particles like dust and pollen. This way, your car’s climate control system (i.e. the air conditioning) becomes more efficient. In addition to this, people with allergies and respiratory problems don’t have to worry while driving.
When Do You Change Cabin Air Filters?
In general, a car’s cabin air filter only needs to be replaced once a year. However, if you live in a dusty area like a highly urbanized city, you may need to replace it more often. You should also consider how you use your car’s aircon system. Setting the fans to high often will shorten your filter’s lifespan.
A good rule of thumb would be to refer to your car owner’s manual for how often you should replace it. Of course, it’s important to use your judgment as well.
For example, if you notice that your car regularly produces a bad odor when you turn on the airconditioning, then check if your air filters need replacing. If you notice your car’s airconditioning seems weaker, then that might be another sign that you need to replace. Finally, if you examine your cabin air filter and it’s as black as soot, then it’s obviously time to replace.
How to Clean/Replace Your Cabin Air Filter
You can extend the life of your car’s cabin air filter by cleaning it. This will help you save money by making the most of an air filter before it needs to be replaced. Here’s how you can do it:
- Take out your cabin air filter
Depending on your car model, it can be located either behind the glove compartment, beneath the dashboard, or under the hood. Check your owner’s manual to be sure. Depending on where it is, you might need to use a screwdriver. If you do, make sure to check it if it’s a Philips or a flathead screw.
- Clean your cabin air filter
How you clean your cabin air filter depends on the type material it’s made of. If it’s not a paper air filter, you can clean it by running it under warm water and mild washing with soap. Make sure to dry it completely before putting it back.
For paper air filters, you can manually remove large debris and clumps of dust and dirt. You can also use a brush or a vacuum to clean it more thoroughly. Some vacuums have brush-like nozzles that can make the task easier.
Don’t always count on this though. When your car’s cabin air filter is due for a replacement, it’s best to just replace it.