Facebook Pixel

 

What Is a Cabin Air Filter?

A cabin air filter, in simple terms, is your car's lung. It's the unsung hero that ensures the air you breathe inside your vehicle is fresh and clean, much like the air conditioning or furnace filters in your home. Astonishingly, despite over 220 million vehicles in the US being equipped with cabin air filters (that's a whopping 76% of all registered vehicles), many are still oblivious to their existence and crucial function.

However, there's a bit of confusion in the automotive world about what to call these life-enhancing filters. Car manufacturers seem to have a naming identity crisis when referring to the same type of filter. BMW labels it as a "microfilter" or an "activated charcoal filter." Honda and Acura prefer the term "dust and pollen filter." Toyota and Lexus simply call it an "air conditioning filter," while Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, and Lincoln stick with "cabin air filter." GM (Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick) opts for "passenger compartment air filter," and Hyundai and Kia casually switch between "cabin air filter" and "climate control air filter." Volvo, on the other hand, goes with "passenger compartment air filter." Some even refer to it as an HVAC filter, ventilation filter, or AC filter.

The Evolution of Cabin Air Filters

When Were Cabin Air Filters First Introduced?

The history of cabin air filters dates back to the 1970s when they made their debut on a Rambler vehicle. However, Rambler was a limited presence in international markets, and the real pioneer in making cabin air filters standard in all its models was Saab, starting in 1979 with the 900 model. BMW, Mazda, and Ford Europe followed suit in the late 1980s, while Volvo joined the cabin air filtration club in 1993. In the US, the 1995 Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique compacts were the first domestic nameplates to feature cabin air filters.

How Does a Cabin Air Filter Work?

Often, consumers mistake the engine air filter for the cabin air filter. Let's clear the air (pun intended): the engine air filter's job is to safeguard your engine, ensuring optimal performance and fuel economy by cleaning the air before it enters the combustion chamber. It primarily tackles dust particles larger than 3 microns.

On the other hand, the cabin air filter plays a vital role in safeguarding you and your passengers by removing fine dust particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. Some advanced cabin filters go a step further by incorporating activated charcoal layers to eliminate harmful gases like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. Cutting-edge technologies like PureFlow take filtration to the next level by adding layers of baking soda, high-tech nano silver, and nano copper particles. These filters not only neutralize viruses, germs, and bacteria but also vanquish unwanted odors.

Choosing the Perfect Cabin Filter

What is the Best Cabin Filter For My Car?

Finding the right filter for your car is a breeze. Simply search for the year, make, and model of your vehicle, and you're on your way to clean air nirvana. While the choices may seem overwhelming, remember this: not all filters are created equal. Premium filters like PureFlow offer superior efficiency in trapping both fine and coarse dust (10 microns or larger). Economy filters, on the other hand, mainly target large particles. It's crucial to consider the filter's performance.

In the automotive industry, the common scale for evaluating cabin filters is based on the ISO-55111 testing protocol. High-quality cabin filters are expected to eliminate over 90% of fine dust and over 99% of coarse dust.

When Should You Replace Your Cabin Filter?

Just like the air filter in your home, cabin air filters in cars need periodic replacement. Several factors can affect their performance, including dust, road grime, leaves, and other debris that can clog the filter, impeding airflow. Humidity and moisture can also impact the filter's effectiveness.

If you notice a decrease in the airflow inside your car or detect a musty smell, it's a clear sign that it's time to replace your cabin filter. Some prefer to swap it out after the pollen season, ensuring a flow of cool air in the hot summer months. Others opt for a replacement after the fall to prepare for winter, once the dry leaves and debris have cleared. You can even replace it before allergy season kicks in. It's not just a mechanical decision; it's about ensuring the air you breathe inside your car is always fresh and healthy.

Conclusion

Your cabin air filter is an unsung hero that deserves recognition for the crucial role it plays in keeping you and your passengers’ breathing clean, fresh air while on the road. Choosing the right filter and maintaining it regularly will ensure that you continue to enjoy a comfortable and healthy driving experience. So, don't forget to give your cabin air filter the attention it deserves, and breathe easy on your journeys.

Continue reading our other articles to find the right filter for your cabin interior so that your air is always fresh.

More Articles

5 Benefits of High-Quality Cabin Air Filters for Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have revolutionized the automotive industry, offering eco-friendly alternatives to traditional gasoline vehicles. As we delve into the world of EVs, one crucial but often overloo...

Canadian Wildfires: Cabin Air Filters That Protect Drivers from Smoke Pollution

As a result of over 400 wildfires currently burning through Canadian forests, a large swath of the United States population finds itself dealing with extremely poor air quality as smoke is driven s...

The Role of Home Furnace Air Filter in Extending the Life of Your HVAC System

Changing your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system’s air filter on a regular basis is essential to keeping the system running efficiently and extending its lifespan. Here are so...

Cabin Air Filters for EVs: Are they Different?

As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain popularity, it's important to consider the health and safety features that come with them. One such feature is the cabin air filter, which is responsible...

Why MERV Rating is Important

Indoor air quality is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment. One of the primary ways to improve indoor air quality is by using HVAC air filters. However, not...

Breathing Easy: A Close-Up Look at How Technology is Revolutionizing In-Cabin Air Quality

A car cabin can play host to all kinds of unpleasant contaminants. For one thing, there are chemicals from the car itself. There may be VOCs emanating from the upholstery or mold growing in the flo...

How To Get Fresh Air Inside Your Car

Vehicle design technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. In the past, vehicles used to have multiple air inlets (intentional or not) that would allow air to pass through the front of the vehi...

With Fall Around the Corner Its Time To Think About Cabin Air Filter Replacement

For many of us, the realization that the end of summer is near is a sad one, but there are ways we can make the best of the upcoming fall season. With children heading back to school and engaging i...

5 Reasons Your Car AC Isn't Blowing Cold Air

What's equally bad as having a bad day is driving a car with a faulty air conditioning system. Car owners with faulty air conditioning are mostly frustrated and uncomfortable, just like anyone havi...

Learn About Some Car Parts that You Can Clean at Home

Your car is one of your most significant, and most important investments. It takes you to and from work, school, and errands! However, most people don’t give their vehicles the adequate attention t...

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Learn more
Ok, Got It

Shopping cart

×

Add Air Freshener to your cabin Filter

Choose from a refreshing selection of six scents

New Car, PUREFLOW Cabin Filter Air Freshener with Odor Eliminator

$8.66
Do you ever miss or crave the oddly satisfying new car smell? Well, with PureFlow’s New Car Air Freshener, every drive will feel like your first. PUREFLOW® New Car Smell Air Freshener This unique, one-of-a-kind air freshener releases a fresh and clean...

Lavender, PUREFLOW Cabin Filter Air Freshener with Odor Eliminator

$8.66
Crafted using freshly cut lavender and warm patchouli blended with cedarwood, PUREFLOW®’s lavender air freshener for car has the ability to transport your senses to the fields of Provence. Lavender is best known for its ability to create a relaxing, almost zen...

Black Rock, PUREFLOW Cabin Filter Air Freshener with Odor Eliminator

$8.66
Energizing bright lemon zest and cool mint are amplified and freshened by base notes of spicy Tonka bean. Provides a balanced flow of fresh air infused with natural scent Directly snap it on the cabin air filter to ensure a balanced aroma...

Vanilla Orchid, PUREFLOW Cabin Filter Air Freshener with Odor Eliminator

$8.66
Warm notes of amber and decadent vanilla blend together with earthy white musk and sandalwood to reveal their rich aroma. Provides a balanced flow of fresh air infused with natural scent Directly snap it on the cabin air filter to ensure a...

Fresh Linen, PUREFLOW Cabin Filter Air Freshener with Odor Eliminator

$8.66
Does the smell of freshly folded laundry, the smell of fresh Jasmine in the garden or the smell of crisp apples attract your attention and remind you of home? With PureFlow’s Fresh Linen Cabin Filter Air Freshener, get comfortable in your car...
out of stock
Tropical Peach, PUREFLOW Cabin Filter Air Freshener with Odor Eliminator Tropical Peach, PUREFLOW Cabin Filter Air Freshener with Odor Eliminator Quick View

Tropical Peach, PUREFLOW Cabin Filter Air Freshener with Odor Eliminator

$8.66
Escape to an island far away with bright pineapple, gardenia petals, and creamy coconut. Provides a balanced flow of fresh air infused with natural scent Directly snap it on the cabin air filter to ensure a balanced aroma inside the cabin. Patented...

With spring in full swing, it's the perfect time to replace your home's HVAC filter.

Keep your car fresh and clean with a new cabin air filter

Our innovative filter technology ensures pure and fresh air circulation, so you can breathe easy on your daily commutes.