What do exhaust fumes, pollen and road dust have in common? They’re all pollutants that can contaminate the air in your car. What’s worse, airborne pollutants can cause sneezing, blurry vision, runny nose and headaches, all of which can distract you while you’re driving. Fortunately, your car has a defense against dirty air—the cabin air filter.
What does a car’s cabin air filter do?
When your car windows are closed, outside air still comes into the car through vents. But before it enters, the air passes through the cabin air filter to remove pollutants. If you or your passengers have allergies, asthma or other respiratory issues, keeping your cabin air filter functioning properly is especially important.
How effective are cabin air filters?
The types and sizes of contaminants a cabin air filter can trap vary with the specific filter design. Standard filters are typically extremely efficient at trapping certain particulates, but they won’t remove fine particles like bacteria or smoke. And while High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can trap pollen, soot, mold spores and germs down to 0.3 microns, they’re not able to protect against coronavirus particles, which measure between .06 and .14 microns.
Does the air filter impact a car’s scent?
If your car’s interior has an unpleasant smell, turn on the cabin fan and find out if the odor is coming from the car’s vents. If it is, the culprit could be the cabin air filter. Moisture can condense on it and develop a sour or mildewy smell—and result in the need to replace the filter.