When’s the last time you thought about air filters when buying a new car?
Air filters can make a huge difference in how it feels to drive in a car, especially if you’re in the car for a long time. But do you need a carbon air filter? And what is a carbon air filter anyway? Here’s what you need to know!
What are Car Air Filters Anyway?
Most late model cars have car air filters already installed. They are essential for a clean, breathable car. Car air filters clean the air that comes into your car through the ventilation, air conditioning, and heating system. They remove things in the air like dust, soot, and pollen, as well as bigger things like leaves and insects.
Cabin air filters also help keep the air conditioning evaporator clean, which can reduce microbe growth and the musty odors that stink up your car. A clogged air filter will make it so the incoming air that is blowing throughout your car cabin also includes all this debris. You are breathing it in! That’s not only gross but it could be unhealthy too.
How Do You Know You Need a New Cabin Air Filter?
Do you smell some noxious odors on your commute? Are your vents not blowing air strongly? Does your car fog up easily? These are all signs that you might need a new cabin air filter. Experts say that you should get your cabin air filter checked at least once a year and it should be replaced about every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. This can depend on where and how much you drive. Some can last longer though so check with your manufacturer (or you know…just google it.)
Do You Need a Carbon Cabin Air Filter?
There are two types of car air filters you can use:
1. Carbon cabin air filter-Contains activated carbon and remove everything the particulate cabin air filter does as well as absorbs smelly odors and exhaust fumes before they enter the vehicle.
2. Particulate cabin air filter-Removes dust and other contaminants from the car cabin air.
The charcoal is labeled as “activated” because it is treated with chemicals and heat which gives it very good odor-control properties. The carbon air filter may cost more than the particulate filter which does not have carbon. If you drive in slow-moving traffic often or encounter strong odors on your drive, the investment in a carbon cabin air filter might be worth it.
Is Every Carbon Cabin Air Filter the Same?
All activated carbon filters remove a significantly higher amount of air pollutants than regular carbon filters, however, there are some distinctions. Some filters contain more activated carbon than others, and this can affect the capacity for impurity removal. There are several different manufacturers which make their own slightly different “recipe” for the best carbon cabin air filter.
Save Money by Changing Your Own Cabin Air Filter
Cabin air filters are easy to change and only cost about $15. However, if you arrange to take it to a mechanic it can cost up to $70 plus you’ll lose time while you wait for your car. Simply search “change cabin air filter + make of car” on YoutTube and you’ll find a video. YouTube pretty much has a video for every type of car.