Cabin and pollen filters – get your car ready for the summer

Cabin and pollen filters – get your car ready for the summer
With summer fast approaching, drivers should be getting their air conditioning in full working order. Part of this is having a clean cabin filter.

Modern vehicles have many pieces of technology and comforts that make the driving experience more enjoyable – but having cooler air in the vehicle on a hot day is important for many reasons.

This guide looks at everything you need to know about cabin and pollen filters.

What is a cabin filter?

Air conditioning keeps your vehicle in a comfortable temperature during the warmer months for you and your passengers.

A cabin filter is the component within the conditioning unit that cleans the air as it passes through the vehicles HVAC system. This is the part of the vehicle that also controls the heating and ventilation.

Its main function is to filter out dust, mould spores and other airborne contaminants that can end up creating problems for everyone in the car or damaging parts of the vehicle.

They can be found behind the dashboard, under the glove box or under the bonnet by the windscreen. This can depend on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as how old it is.

Cabin filters provide an important function of improving air quality and extending the life of the HVAC system.

What is a pollen filter?

A pollen filter is a type of cabin filter that also traps pollen and other allergens within a vehicle.

In months where there is a high pollen count, it can help drivers with hay fever.

It uses an activated carbon layer that can absorb these allergens, as well as odours in the vehicle.

Signs of a faulty cabin filter

Cabin filters will not last the lifetime of the vehicle and will need to be replaced – so here are the signs to look out for.

  • Reduced or inconsistent airflow
  • No temperature change when adjusting the settings
  • Strong smells coming from inside the HVAC system
  • Foggy windscreen

Checking the state of your cabin air filter is something that should be a part of your regular car maintenance. It can also be a part of your annual service – so check when booking your next one.

How long do cabin filters last?

When it comes to the lifespan of a cabin filter within a vehicle’s HVAC system, they usually last up to 15,000 miles – or at least once every 18 months.

However, this can vary depending on a variety of factors including how often it is used, the average temperature and humidity, quality of the filter, quality of the HVAC system, levels of pollutants and pollen, levels of dust and dirt and how often the air conditioning is used.

How to change your cabin filter

As the cabin air filter can be found in several places, the first step is to search the make, model and year of your vehicle and see where it is located.

It will likely be under the glove box or dashboard – or under the bonnet in its own housing near the windscreen.

Here are the next steps you should take to replace your cabin filter:

  • Make sure the engine is turned off: Ensure there is no electricity or power running through the engine. Next, you’ll need to locate where the filter is.
  • Remove the filter cover: This will involve using a screwdriver or unclipping it from the housing.
  • Remove the old filter: It will either slide out or you’ll need to remove it from the unit.
  • Clean the housing: This will help increase the lifespan of the next filter and remove any pollutants that could lead to other issues.
  • Install new cabin filter: Make sure it is orientated properly and is the correct size for the housing.
  • Reattach the filter cover: Screw or clip it back into place and clean up any dirt or debris.
  • Turn on the vehicle and take the car for a quick drive: Test the HVAC system, including heating and cooling, as well each of the fans. If there is still an issue, you may need to visit your trusted local garage.

How often should you change your cabin or pollen filters?

Every manufacturer will state within the vehicle owner’s manual when they advise you should change your cabin or pollen filters – although it is advisable to change them every year to 18 months – or every 10-15,000 miles.

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