An A/C filter, or cabin air filter, is a simple but important element of a mobile A/C system. The filter helps maintain air quality within the vehicle cabin. It does this by removing contaminants such as dust, dirt, smoke, pollen, mold and bacteria as the air flows into the cabin. As is typical with filters, after they’ve done their job for a while they tend to get dirty and clogged with debris and should be replaced.
So how do you know when it’s time to replace your cabin air filter?
At FJC we recommend periodically checking your filter, usually in the spring, before A/C season is in full force. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the cabin air filter every 12,000—30,000 miles, and this once-a-year check up fits in well with that timeframe. It’s an inexpensive part, usually $20—$30, depending upon your make and model, and is an easy do-it-yourself task.
If, however, you are not very proactive or if you tend to push your filter limits, you may notice reduced air flow from the vents, less power coming from the engine, and visible dust iand allergens in your cabin. If you notice any of these symptoms, make a prioriyy of changing your cabin filter.
A non-functioning or little-functioning filter can potentially cause a host problems, including:
- Health problems, especially for those who suffer with allergies or have issues with breathing.
- Diminished air quality and temperature in the cabin since less air will be passing through.
- The A/C will be forced to work harder, potentially causing a burned out motor.
- Foggy window buildup and diminished window clearing
- Foul odors
A cabin filter is an often overlooked element of the A/C system. Ensuring it is working effectively will have a big impact on the comfort and enjoyment of your vehicle and improve the efficiency of your system.