What Happens When Your Cabin Air Filter is Clogged?

When a cabin air filter is missing, there can be hidden damage. Leaves, twigs, and other debris can be captured before they reach the blower motor and the delicate ducts that bring fresh air into the cabin. Even a small stick or pebble can puncture a duct or get stuck in the engine, resulting in a decrease in air conditioner efficiency as the engine works harder and eventually burns out. A clogged cabin air filter will reduce airflow to the HVAC system, affecting its efficiency.

This will limit the cooling and heating capacity of your car, as well as put extra strain on the system, potentially leading to a blowout. A dirty or clogged filter won't be able to filter out contaminants, which can cause problems for people with allergies or respiratory issues. Clean air is essential for your vehicle to function properly; your car's engine air filter ensures that clean air reaches the engine. Replacing the cabin air filter can dramatically improve your vehicle's air quality.

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. By changing the cabin air filter regularly, you won't have to roll down windows in the middle of winter to get fresh air. A clogged cabin air filter will reduce airflow to the HVAC system, resulting in lackluster defrost and defrost performance, as well as reduced air conditioning and heating functionality. This affects the cabin air temperature, which depends on a constant flow of air passing through the heater core, evaporator, or both components.

HVAC system malfunction: A cabin air filter left beyond its useful life will cause a vehicle's HVAC system to work much harder, which can cause the engine to burn out. In extreme cases, the clogged filter can completely obstruct airflow, either by causing the fan motor to fail or by sucking the filter out of its housing along with all of the debris that seeps out. A dirty or excessively clogged cabin air filter can produce a dusty and damp odor when the HVAC system is turned on. This will not only affect people with allergies or respiratory issues but also decrease air quality from the old filter, causing condensation to form on the windshield.

Before entering the passenger compartment, outside air is directed through this filter to trap contaminants inside and prevent them from entering your vehicle's interior. The cabin air filter is essential for keeping the air inside your car fresh so that you and your passengers can breathe easy - something you'll appreciate all year round but especially during allergy season.