As the world continues to struggle to control the spread of Covid-19, most of us are required to avoid crowded areas and to stay home at all time unless it’s absolutely necessary to be out and about. We are also required to adhere to the new normal – a strict practice of good hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing. But, when it comes to travelling in a car, what can we do to minimize the chances of falling ill?
Do you know that every car needs to wear a mask as well? The mask that we are referring to in this case is a cabin air filter. On the 24th of November, Bosch Automotive Aftermarket Malaysia (Bosch AA) in a “Mask Up Your Car” online media briefing session encouraged the same precautionary measures to be practiced within our cars.
What Are Cabin Air Filters?
Commonly confused with the engine air filter, the cabin air filter is an especially important car part that filters the air flowing from outside the vehicle into the car cabin through the air conditioning system. It not only improves the air quality you breathe in your car but also simultaneously increases hygiene in the car itself.
According to studies, in-car air quality can be up to 15 times more polluted than the air outside the car. Sitting in traffic causes the highest air pollution in the car as emissions from surrounding vehicles flow into the car. Subsequently, a Bosch AA study done in April this year reported that 96 per cent of Malaysian drivers showed concerns about air quality in the car. On top of that, exhaust or unpleasant smells and dusty air in the car are the two most common experiences 64% and 58% of drivers notice while driving, respectively. These are an indication that the majority of drivers may have a clogged cabin filter.
Why Cabin Air Filters Should be Changed Frequently
Pollution – Pollution is the most commonly cited reason to change the cabin filters. These filters are the one that stops exterior air of the road from entering the interior air of your car. The filters block a lot of smog and dirty exhaust let out by other vehicles on the road and regularly changing out this filter stops these pollutants from making its way into the car’s cabin.
Debris – It seems unlikely to find twigs and leaves inside your cabin air filter — these are larger objects that many assume would not get sucked into the filter. However, many drivers find their air filters clogged with leaves, twigs, and other natural debris, especially if the car is parked in an area with lots of trees or bushes. These can have a huge effect on the efficacy of your air system and need to be removed.
Allergens – Besides just pollutants and debris, cabin air filters also greatly help in reducing the number of allergens that can get into your vehicle. Pollen could easily get into your vehicle without the air filter, and when the air filter is not frequently changed, imagine the amount of pollen in your car cabin!
Allergens building up in your cabin air filter is more common in states that have massive pollen seasons, particularly areas with a large amount of plants with flowers. Regardless of where you live, however, it is important to change your air filter so that you don’t have to deal with any allergens getting into your vehicle.
Reduced Efficacy – When your cabin filter gets clogged, your air conditioner has to work harder to push cool air through the filter. This can result in a noisy or ineffective air conditioning system. This can be a huge pain in Malaysia, as the weather is always hot and sunny — if your air filter is full of debris and dirt, it will take way longer for your cabin to cool down. On top of that, a clogged air filter also impacts your fuel efficiency because your engine would have to work extra hard to power up the system!
Bosch Cabin Filter – Bosch Aeristo Premium
A typical cabin filter filters out unwanted air contaminants and impurities such as dust, dirt, smoke, mold spores and pet hair. But, a good cabin filter like the Bosch Aeristo Premium comes with enhanced features including antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help minimise exposure risks to airborne pollutants, bacteria and viruses.
image source : BoschAA Facebook
This cabin filter has a natural polyphenol layer made out of plants that has the ability to restrain viruses by decomposing the virus protein. Similarly, it has an antibacterial agent that prevents the growth of bacteria. Thus, reducing the invasion of virus and bacteria carried by the air flowing into the car cabin.
On top of that, it is woven and layered with an electrostatic charged material that removes fine particles and air pollutants as small as 2.5 microns. Essentially, the Bosch Aeristo Premium has a filtration efficiency of a PM2.5 filter. It is able to filter 98 per cent of fine air particles at 2.5 microns. To give a point of comparison, a strand of human hair is 50-70 microns in diameter which means the cabin filter filters out air pollutants that are naked to the eye.
As a bonus, this range of cabin filter is also fitted with an activated carbon layer that absorbs and neutralizes unpleasant smells and harmful gases such as smog, car exhaust or the ozone. The activated carbon is made from coconut shells that have higher filtration and absorption capacity than those made from wood or coal. On top of that, it also has an anti-allergy layer that has antifungal properties to filter common allergens in the air as well as prevent fungal and mold growth on the cabin filter.
In conclusion, if you do not remember when the last time your cabin was changed, it’s best to get it checked. The cabin filter should be replaced every year or every 15,000km, whichever comes first. We at Carsome, encourage you to make this one of your priorities the next time you take your car for its service. #CarsomeCares