knowledgebase / What Is A Cabin Air Filter?

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What Is A Cabin Air Filter

So what exactly is a cabin air filter? Many customers visiting our Laurel, MD location are often confused about what a cabin air filter does. Some vehicle owners don’t even realize that they have a cabin air filter. While “cabin air filter” is a bit of an odd name, a cabin air filter is basically like a highly efficient furnace filter for your car’s passenger compartment or “cabin”.

Research shows that pollution inside of your vehicle can be 5-6 times the concentration of outside air. As your vehicle is moving along, outside air is drawn in through the HVAC system, it then passes through the cabin air filter where contaminates are removed. If you live in an area with unhealthy levels of pollution like we have in the Laurel, Beltsville and Columbia area, then your cabin air filter works even harder to remove pollutants such as dust, pollen, smog and mold spores from entering the inside of your vehicle.

Parking under trees can further hasten the deterioration of this critical component. I have seen these filters clogged with leaves, pine needles and even rodent droppings. Cabin filters are a tremendous help for people with allergies since they do trap pollen, mold spores and other allergens.

When Should I Change My Cabin Air Filter?

Over time the cabin filter becomes clogged blocking the airflow from your vehicle’s heating and A/C system. Recommended intervals vary by manufacturer, here at Gary’s Automotive we find that most of our clients driving in the laurel, MD area and generally around MD and DC seem to be due around the 1 year or 15,000-mile mark.

Your owner's manual may have a recommended interval for changing it, but a visual inspection is still the best method.

When the cabin air filter does gets dirty, you simply need to replace it. If you are not sure about the condition of your filter, we will be happy to inspect it during your next service.

If you have any questions about this or any other vehicle service, just give us a call at 301-953-2886.