Changing your Cabin Air Filter Can Improve Air Conditioner and Heating Performance

Cabin air filters started showing up in vehicles in the late 90's and are installed in about half of today's vehicles. They filter out dust, dirt, pollen and other allergens from the air that you and your family breathe inside the vehicle. Anytime that you have the heater, air conditioner or vent on inside the vehicle, your cabin air filter is at work.

If your vehicle has a cabin air filter (check your owner's manual), many recommend changing the filter every 15,000 to 25,000 miles, or once a year. But if you're like most drivers, you're still driving with the original filter and it's likely clogged. It's not just a comfort issue. Just as a clogged furnace filter in your home reduces the furnace's efficiency, a clogged cabin air filter reduces the efficiency of the heating and cooling system for the car interior.

A clogged filter can also cause window fogging problems and contribute to lower gas mileage. Due to having to work harder to push air through your system, eventually you'll have to replace a burned-out blower motor. These range from mid $100 range to significantly more in some models. 

Cabin air filter replacement can vary in difficulty and cost. The good news is most Quality Car Care Centers feature a replacement cost between $25 and $50 for over 80% of cabin air filter applications. Many cabin air filters cost between $25 to $50 at local auto parts stores or dealers, and then you have to install yourself. 

While most cabin air filters can be easily replaced in 5 to 10 minutes by our technicians, some vehicles require more mechanical skill and tools. These replacement costs vary between $50 and $150 in most cases. These require removal of glove box, dash console, etc and can take over an hour.

Either way if your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter, plan on replacing it once a year to keep you and your family breathing clean, fresh air!