The Benefits of Replacing Your Air Filter: 3 Reasons to Change Your Air Filter

The air filter in your car is an essential component that helps keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently. It is important to replace your air filter regularly to ensure that your car is running at its best. There are at least five benefits of changing your air filter regularly; better gas mileage, reduced emissions, improved acceleration, longer engine life and overall improved maneuverability. When you realize the importance of replacing a clogged air filter, it makes sense to do so regularly.

But how can an air filter make such a difference? A dirty or damaged air filter limits the amount of air flowing into your car's engine, causing it to work harder and therefore use more fuel. Since your engine needs more than 10,000 liters of oxygen to burn every liter of fuel, it is important not to restrict this airflow. Naturally, air filters must be changed in case of any damage. However, to maintain the maximum possible performance of your car, it is recommended to replace your air filters at least every 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 km).

This interval should be reduced if you often drive in dusty conditions. It is best to review the maintenance schedule provided by your car manufacturer for the proper replacement schedule. Depending on the make and model, replacing a dirty air filter could increase fuel efficiency and acceleration. If you noticed that your car accelerated more slowly at stops, that could be a sign that the air filter should be changed.

In addition, an engine needs adequate airflow to function properly. If the air filter does not allow proper circulation due to dirt and debris, you may notice a decrease in gasoline consumption. The engine air filter helps prevent harmful contaminants from entering the engine, ensuring that only clean, residue-free air reaches this vital component. When this filter becomes clogged, you may experience a lot of problems regarding the engine of your vehicle.

Refer to the scheduled maintenance interval online or refer to your owner's manual for details on how often filters should be replaced, as well as timelines for other recommended services. At Firestone Complete Auto Care, our expert technicians even check your cabin and engine air filters during a full-service oil change. You can also visually inspect the engine air filter. The filter box is usually located under the hood (refer to the owner's manual for exact location) and can usually be opened by releasing the latches or removing the screws. A clean filter is usually white, off-white, yellow or red, and may darken as it accumulates more dirt. If you live in a dusty or sandy area, you may also need to replace the filter more often.

Like the engine air filter, you can visually inspect the cabin air filter to determine if it is dirty. For vehicles of this type, they are often located behind the glove box. Refer to the owner's manual for instructions on how to access the filter. A good rule of thumb is to replace air filters every 30-90 days. Inspect them every month and make a determination based on how dirty they are.

Keeping these filters clean helps them capture as much dirt and debris as possible so that their living space is healthy. Your HVAC filter plays an important role in the protection and efficiency of your HVAC system, as well as maintaining your home's air quality. The filter is usually made of pleated fibers enclosed in a frame. Air filtration occurs when it is returned to the HVAC equipment to “clean” it and then distribute it again. Over time, the filter media may break, allowing contaminants to reach the parts that the filter must protect. The list of benefits derived from the use of household air filters can be easily described; however, there are three very valuable benefits. By combining high-quality air filters with a smart thermostat, you can maximize the desired temperature in your home and save money on energy costs.

In addition, studies show that indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air, and people typically spend about 90 percent of their time indoors. A clean air filter is designed to capture dirt and debris from outside air, preventing it from reaching the combustion chamber and reducing the likelihood that you will receive a high repair bill. Like a clogged drain, a dirty filter deprives the system of vital air or fuel and makes each system it protects work harder to do its job. If you have allergies or a sensitive respiratory system, the cabin air filter is essential to create a more comfortable driving environment. Clogged air filters allow more dirt and debris to be trapped inside the entire system, making it work harder and shortening its lifespan. The air filter traps dust and dirt particles before they reach and accumulate on the internal and mobile components of the unit.

Even a small amount of salt or dirt could adversely affect the cylinders or pistons and cause advanced wear that will be much more expensive to replace than the air filter. MERV rates the overall effectiveness of the air filter; so a higher MERV rating means a finer level of filtration. When an air filter is clogged and strongly restricts airflow, it can cause incomplete combustion and ultimately reduce engine power. This also provides your HVAC system with a protective barrier against dirt and debris; which was its original purpose for using household air filters.