What does a cabin air filter do?

EVs are frequently praised for producing fewer emissions and being gentler on the environment but, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the air inside them is always clean. All vehicles need a cabin air filter for that reason. 

Your car’s cabin air filter acts as the gateway to your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, stopping pollutants and allergens from entering. That way, the air that flows into your cabin when you turn on the heat or A/C is kept clean, protecting those with allergies and providing a more pleasant driving experience overall. 

The cabin air filter also prevents the HVAC system from working overtime to power other parts of your car while dealing with debris clogging it up. That means more energy and battery power can be conserved, extending your EV’s range. 




Types of EV cabin filters

The two main types of cabin air filters for EVs are standard filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. 

Standard filters are made of a pleated paper or fabric material. They can trap particles as small as 10 microns, making them highly effective at removing most pollutants and allergens from the air. 

HEPA filters are denser and can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns, which include dust, pollen, mould, and even bacteria. HEPA filters are more expensive, but they usually last longer than standard filters. 

Most EVs and regular cars come with a standard cabin air filter, but some models can be upgraded to a HEPA filter for better air quality. 

When to replace your EV cabin air filter 

All vehicles, including EVs, will show certain signs when their cabin air filter needs to be replaced. If you notice any of these changes in your EV’s cabin, it may be time for a new filter: 

  • reduced airflow 

  • unpleasant odours 

  • excessive noise/whistling from air ducts 

Outside of these symptoms, there are certain intervals when you should change your cabin air filter. The timing depends on your vehicle’s model, how often you drive, the conditions you usually drive in, and the type of filter you have. 

Check your owner’s manual for a recommended time to change the cabin air filter. Regular cars will need their filters changed at least once per year, but EV filters typically last longer. For most EVs, a new filter will be needed every 12 to 18 months, or every 25,000 km. 

Cost of replacing your cabin air filter 

Your EV’s year, make, and model may influence the cost of replacing a cabin air filter, but it will likely be similar to the cost for a regular car. Nonetheless, you may save money over time with an EV, since they usually need new filters less often. 

To have your EV’s cabin air filter replaced professionally or to ask any questions about this important part of your vehicle, head over to your local NexDrive service centre to speak with an expert.