Does a Dirty Cabin Filter Affect Your AC Performance?

Believe it or not, the cabin filter can have a major impact on your air conditioning system and, in turn, the power of your entire vehicle. Many vehicles are equipped with cabin air filters that capture dust, insects, leaves and other types of debris. If the filter is clogged, it can reduce the cooling capacity of your air conditioner and put unnecessary strain on the system. The harder your air conditioner works, the more the engine will run.

A clogged air filter can obstruct airflow for air conditioning systems and reduce HVAC efficiency. This means that the air passing through the air conditioning system slows down, thus reducing the flow of air into the car cabin. As a result, the heating and cooling capacity of the vehicle will be reduced. You'll notice that the air conditioner starts emitting unpleasant odors once you turn it on.

Not only that, but you will also experience a change in the quality of the air conditioner; you will start to feel hot even if the air conditioner has been on for quite some time. Vehicle owners may need to increase the fan settings of their air conditioner to compensate for reduced airflow, which places a burden on the air conditioning system as it tries to blow more air into the cabin. A soft, healthy fan noise is an indicator that the cabin air filter and air conditioning system are in good condition. The increase in air temperature caused by a clogged cabin filter can be gradual or significant, depending on how the filter becomes clogged, as well as other factors, such as the outside temperature and the amount of sunlight that heats the air as it passes through car windows. If you notice any unusual odors coming from your vehicle's ventilation grilles, it may be a sign that the cabin air filter needs to be replaced. Insufficient airflow through your car's cabin vents is a sure indicator that you need to replace your car's cabin air filter.

Consult your owner's manual to determine the location of your car's cabin air filter and determine when it needs to be replaced. Cabin air filters are small pleated filters made of multifiber cotton sheets or manufactured fabric. Although specific guidelines for replacing your vehicle's cabin air filter are often provided in the owner's manual, the basics of changing your car's cabin filter are detailed below. The easiest method to identify the cabin air filter is to consult the owner's manual; however, these filters are usually located in the passenger side floor area. A vehicle's cabin filter is part of the air conditioning system, which makes it sometimes referred to as an air conditioning filter. If you don't want to contribute to that number, it's best to replace the cabin air filter after using it for a couple of years, as it won't work in its best way. Poor airflow from your vehicle's interior vents is a definite warning sign that your air filter needs some repairs or replacements.