Car manufacturers spend plenty of time and attention to the car’s heating, ventilation and cooling systems. This, however, does not mean that you are free from the duties of maintenance and inspection. Like all components inside your car, the cabin air filters and other HVAC components have a particular lifespan.
Fortunately, inspecting and replacing cabin air filters is a fairly easy and straight forward process. Doing this is one of the best things you can do to keep up with your car’s air cleanliness.
Where is Your Cabin Air Filter?
You can typically find the cabin air filter inside the heater box. This box is located under the dashboard and near the firewall. It is also near the passenger side foot resting area. Some larger vehicles may even have two air cabin filters. Therefore, gaining access to the vehicle will also depend on the vehicle you drive. It is nonetheless fairly easy and you can do it simply using hand tools.
Once you have removed the filter, you can move on the visual inspection phase. If your filter shows any signs of mold, any significant amount of dirt and debris accumulation, or any discoloration, than you should consider replacing it immediately.
If you are inspecting the filter for the first time, there is a good chance that you will need a replacement. If the filter appears to be somewhat new, then you can gently open the external air side of the filter and if even then it shows no real sign of damage, then reinstall the filter and check it again in a year.
Importance of Changing Cabin Air Filters
Replacing the cabin air filter is something that you have to be concerned about. If you do not replace the cabin air filter on time, its performance will decrease incredibly. Without maintenance, the increase in pressure drop on the filter will reduce the fresh air and re-circulate the air supply in the vents.
On the other hand, the efficiency for trapping smaller and harmful particles will significantly reduce. If your filter comes with an installed activated carbon filter, then you will not be safe from harmful gasses and odors. Overall, without proper maintenance, the original functionality of the filter disables. Replacing the filter is ultimately a reasonable and easy fix for your car that can rid you from plenty of other bigger issues.
Other Considerations for the HVAC system
When you are replacing the cabin air filters, you can also benefit from cleaning the heat exchanger, which is also an important component of the HVAC system. When swapping out the filter, cleaning the HVAC system is the ideal time to do this. This is because it gives you some time and effort to gain entrance to the same system within your car.
HVAC systems of a car come with a shelf life. Therefore, make sure to stay on top of all maintenance and replacements whenever the car calls for it. The coming winters will present a hostile working environment for your car’s HVAC system, so it is best to inspect early in the fall to winterize your car.