What Do Cabin Filters Do? And Different Quality Levels

It's more important than most of us realise, it's essential to our health and the people all around us. Read here about why cabin filters matter.

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The climate control system of your car is one of the most important systems you will ever come across. You are affected by it virtually anytime while driving and so should take care not only for yourself but also others. 

Despite the HVAC system being one of the most overlooked parts with routine service and maintenance, you will be glad that this article covers not just what your AC does but also tips for maintaining peak performance and different quality levels.

How Does Car Air Conditioning Work?

The climate control system, or HVAC as it’s also known in houses, maintains the temperature and airflow for your car. There are two choices: fresh air ventilation (which aids with cooling) or recirculated, diluted cabin air. 

Recirculated air means that the fresh, outside cabin air is utilised as a primary source of coolant for your HVAC system. This can be especially useful to those hot summer days because it saves energy and doesn’t overwork any one component with an artificial cooling process, like fans or compressors.

If your system is set to fresh air, your vehicle’s climate control system pulls fresh air from a vent under the hood.

What Does A Cabin Air Filter Do?

Cabin air filters are designed to clean and filter the outside environment before it is drawn into your home’s HVAC system. They do this by removing odours, pollen grains (and other allergens), dirt particles and dust. As with any type of filter- they help keep you healthier inside while also keeping out harmful things like bacteria or viruses that could make people sick.

What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Car Air Filter?

Why do you have to change your car’s air filters? More importantly, what happens when you skip this routine air filter maintenance? Let’s take a look:

  • Engine Air Filter: When you have an air filter that’s clogged, the airflow of your engine will be restricted. This can lead not only to poor fuel economy but also vehicle performance issues and (in worst-case scenarios) severe damage!
  • Cabin Air Filter: similarly, when your cabin air filter is clogged, it will restrict airflow to your car’s heating and cooling system—creating a great deal of stress. Clogged cabin air filters can lead to broken car air conditioners and heaters.

Type of Cabin Air Filters

Standard Cabin Air Filters

The standard cabin air filter is typically around 98% efficient at trapping particulates in the 5-100 micron range. This includes most contaminants, but not tiny particles such as mould spores or soot from cigarettes that can be found nearly anywhere within your car’s interior.

High Efficiency Particulate Air

The cabin air filters are HEPA, which stands for high efficiency particulate absorbance. This means they can trap even finer particles and have a filtration efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 microns based on standardised industry testing. One major supplier claims their premium HEPA cabin filter has an FPM rating (or face-piece-projected surface) measuring 15 square inches with minimal obstruction from pleats or folds in order to provide maximum protection against airborne microbes.

Activated Carbon Filters​

Activated carbon filters are a common way to remove harmful gases and contaminants from the air. These special ingredients, like activated charcoal, in this case, can absorb many unpleasant smells so you don’t have any problem breathing while driving.

MyCarRepair is here for all of your vehicle services, including air filter replacements. We proudly provide industry-leading service to drivers across the UK.

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