How to Know When You Need a New A/C Cabin Air Filter

The summer is definitely heating up, but are you confident that your vehicle’s air conditioning system is working as expected? You might notice that the volume of air coming from your vehicle’s air conditioner or heater has diminished over time, something that can be caused by a cabin air filter that needs to be replaced. You’ve seen how dirty your home’s A/C filter can get in a month, and most vehicle cabin air filters only get replaced once per year or every 15,000 miles – if they get replaced at all. If you don’t remember the last time yours was replaced, it’s probably well on its way to causing problems.

A mechanic holds up a dirty cabin air filter next to it's new counterpart

How Your Vehicle's A/C Filter Works

If you’re like most people, you push a button or turn a knob in your car, truck or SUV and expect the correct temperature air to “magically” enter the vehicle’s cabin. What you may not realize is that there are complex processes happening behind the scenes to ensure that you stay comfortable and cool in the summer and toasty warm in the winter. Just like your home A/C, most modern cars and trucks have a filter that filters the air before it flows across the evaporator core. The primary purpose is to keep your evaporator core from getting stopped up with dust, hair, and other debris that’s floating around in your vehicle’s passenger area. A secondary function of that filter is that it cleans the air that you’re breathing.

Having Issues with Your Vehicle's Air Conditioning?

While there are some issues such as low refrigerant levels, compressor drive belts and other moving parts that could be causing problems with your vehicle’s air conditioning, a likely culprit is a stopped up cabin air filter. Here are a few signs that your air filter may need to be replaced:

  • The airflow through interior vents is dramatically reduced
  • You experience mold or mildew smells inside your vehicle’s cabin
  • Passengers experience greater problems with allergies in your vehicle
  • You hear odd whistling sounds through your car’s A/C unit
  • Your A/C isn’t cooling as well as it used to

Our professional mechanics in Canton, CT may notice that your air filter is looking a little worse for wear and recommend that you change it.

Your Cabin Air Filter Is Important To Your Health

The air filter in your vehicle’s cabin isn’t just meant to keep the cold air flowing throughout the summer. These filters, often made of carbon-activated materials or multiple layers of material, help to reduce the quantity of dirt and pollutants in your vehicle. These filters can become clogged with dust, bugs and dirt over time, and may even be used by small animals as a nesting space! If your cabin is smelling musty and dusty, there’s a strong possibility that it is time to replace that air filter.

Poor airflow through your vehicle’s vents can also cause a much more dangerous problem — a reduced de-fogging ability for your windows and windshield. Want to be sure your vehicle is functioning at peak efficiency so you’ll stay cool this summer? Come see the professionals at Collinsville Auto Repair Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm or call us today at 860-693-4588 to schedule an appointment.