Best Cabin Air Filters

Best Cabin Air Filter

The most popular type of cabin air filters are the ones made from stainless steel or aluminum. These types of filters are very effective at filtering out dust particles and other harmful substances. They have been used since they are easy to clean and maintainable. Other types of cabin air filters include those made from polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) or plastic.

Some of these types of filters are better than others when it comes to filtration. Some are less expensive while some cost more money. There are also different brands available which make them even more desirable. However, there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to cabin air filters.

Cabin Air Filter Types: Stainless Steel & Aluminum

Stainless steel and aluminum cabin air filters come in various sizes and shapes. All of them are good at filtering out dust particles. The main advantage of these types of filters is their durability and ease of maintenance. They do not require regular cleaning like other types of filters.

Another reason why they are considered superior to other types is because they don’t contain any chemicals or heavy metals that may cause health problems if inhaled over long periods of time.

These types of filters don’t have pre-filter and will not stop the larger dust particles from entering your car’s air conditioner system. Without a pre-filter, it can be more difficult to find the correct replacement filter the next time you have to do it.

Carbon Cabin Air Filters

The carbon cabin air filters contain activated carbon granules. Air passes through them and gets trapped. As a result, the air gets purified from dust and other contaminants that can cause harm to your health.

The carbon cabin air filters are considered cheap and they do a great job when it comes to air filtration. There are specific models of cars and trucks that can only use this type of cabin air filters.

Cabin Air Filter Types: Polyester (PET)

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The polyester (PET) cabin air filters are made from polyester fibers. Like the other types of filters, PET cabin filters can also block dust, debris, and other harmful substances. These filters are known for their ability to trap the smallest of dust particles.

Mostly available as a pre-filter, they are made of cheap material. Because of this, you would need to clean or change them more often than the other types. They are not as durable compared to other filters.

Cabin Air Filter Types: Pleated Paper

Pleated paper cabin air filters are made from paper fibers. They are considered to be a cheap option, especially when it comes to replacement filters. The pleated paper cabin air filters can trap dust and other larger particles from entering the car.

These types of filters will need to be replaced after every 20,000 miles, otherwise, they will get clogged and won’t work effectively. The main disadvantage of using this type of filter is that they need to be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. If left uncleaned, they will get clogged and won’t be able to do their job.

Cabin Air Filter Types: Electrostatic

The electrostatic filters are able to trap dust, debris, and other types of particles because of static electric charge. These filters do not need any maintenance and will not get clogged easily.

Due to the reason that they do not contain any moving parts, they are considered more durable than other types of filters. They, however, are more expensive compared to the other types and cannot be found in most automotive stores.

Cabin Air Filter Types: H.E.P

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (H.E.P) cabin air filters have quality similar to that of the electrostatic filters. These types will not get clogged as easily and will maintain their efficiency for a long period of time.

The H.E.P cabin air filters are more expensive in comparison to other types, but you won’t need to replace them anytime soon. There are some models of cars and trucks that can only use this type of filters.

How to Tell If Your Cabin Air Filter Needs to Be Changed?

Cabin air filters usually need to be changed every 20,000 miles. It usually takes about two years before the cabin air filter needs to be changed. It is recommended that you change your cabin air filter every year. If you notice any of these issues with your car or truck, then the first thing you need to do is check the cabin air filter:

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1. Your vehicle is not blowing air through the vents.

2. When you turn the system on, you notice a low whistling sound.

3. You see dust or dirt coming out from the vents.

4. There is a bad smell coming from the air vents.

5. The AC is not as cold as usual.

6. When the fan is on, you can hear a rumbling sound coming from the engine area.

7. Your battery is draining faster than usual.

If you notice issues with the above statements, then it is a good idea to have your cabin air filter checked. If the cabin air filter is clogged, then you might need to have it replaced.

How to Replace Your Cabin Air Filter

Now that you know the different types of cabin air filters, it’s also important that you learn how to change or replace one. This process can be done in just a few minutes. All you will need are the following tools and parts:

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1. A replacement cabin air filter

2. A replacement cabin air filter housing (If your model needs one)

3. A flathead screwdriver

4. A can of compressed air

5. A clean cloth or paper towels

In order to change or replace your cabin air filter, you need to follow this step by step process:

1. Outside your car, locate the plastic cover that protects the cabin air filter.

You will need to take this off in order to access the cabin air filter housing. Some cars have this located at the bottom of the dashboard while other cars have it located on top of the dashboard. The location of this part may vary from one car model to another.

2. After you have located the plastic cover, take out your flathead screwdriver.

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Loosen the screws of the plastic covering until it is free from the dashboard. You can now take out the plastic part and set it aside. Some cars have a clip that holds the plastic piece on top of the dashboard. You will need to press down on this clip in order to take out the plastic piece.

3. Now that you have removed the plastic covering, you should now see the cabin air filter housing.

This will be found right under where your dashboard and windshield meet. You will need to take out the screws that hold the cabin air filter housing in place. You can then take out the cabin air filter housing and replace the cabin air filter.

4. Take note of the type of cabin air filter that your car needs.

If you do not know what type to get, then consult your car manual for reference. You can also call up a parts store and ask them for help.

5. Take the new cabin air filter and remove the packaging.

You will need to take out the old cabin air filter and take note of how it looks. You will also need to put in the new cabin air filter the same way the old one was positioned. In some instances, the cabin air filter will have arrows that show you which way it should face. You should also check if it is positioned correctly by looking through your windshield. If the cabin air filter is tampered with, then it might not work effectively.

Once you have confirmed that the cabin air filter is in place, then you can go ahead and put in the housing

6. Place the cabin air filter housing back in its original position.

If your car has a clip, then put that back in place as well.

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7. After putting the cabin air filter housing back in its original position, you will now need to secure it with screws.

8. Test to see if the fan is working.

Turn on your AC and see if the fan turns on. You should be able to feel cool air coming from your AC if the filter is working well.

9. Put the plastic covering back in its original position and secure it with the screws you initially took out.

If you find that your AC is still not working after you have followed all these steps, then you might need to take your car to a mechanic.

If you would like to save money on having to regularly change your cabin air filter, then the best thing you can do is get an electrostatic filter.

Sources & references used in this article:

Laboratory and on-road evaluations of cabin air filters using number and surface area concentration monitors by C Qi, N Stanley, DYH Pui, TH Kuehn – Environmental science & …, 2008 – ACS Publications

Efficiency of automotive cabin air filters to reduce acute health effects of diesel exhaust in human subjects. by B Rudell, U Wass, P Hörstedt, JO Levin… – Occupational and …, 1999 – oem.bmj.com

Development of nanofiber reinforced double layered cabin air filter using novel upward mass production electrospinning set up by MH Kim, WJ Lee, DH Lee, SW Ko… – … of nanoscience and …, 2018 – ingentaconnect.com

Comparison of filtration performance of commercially available automotive cabin air filters against various airborne pollutants by KJ Heo, JW Noh, BU Lee, Y Kim, JH Jung – Building and Environment, 2019 – Elsevier

First report of Legionella pneumophila in car cabin air filters. Are these a potential exposure pathway for professional drivers? by IG Alexandropoulou, TG Konstantinidis… – … Journal of Infectious …, 2013 – Taylor & Francis

Investigation of the performance of airliner cabin air filters throughout lifetime usage by B Xu, J Liu, S Ren, W Yin, Q Chen – Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 2013 – aaqr.org

Passenger aircraft cabin air quality: trends, effects, societal costs, proposals by MB Hocking – Chemosphere, 2000 – Elsevier