Is Cleaning an Air Filter Worth It?

You may need to clean your air filter more often if you live in a rural area, where there is usually more dirt and dust on the road. If you don't drive a lot, it is recommended to clean your air filter at least once a year as part of a regular service. This will ensure engine performance and efficiency. Air filters are made of cotton, paper or foam, or a combination of these materials.

Check your owner's manual or contact the air filter manufacturer to make sure it is safe to use soap and water for cleaning, especially if you have an oil-coated filter. Oil-coated filters are not that common, but if you have one, you'll need a specific cleaning solution. Do not use soap and water on an oil-coated air filter. Cleaning the air filter will not only improve the quality of the engine, but will also extend the life of the filter.

You won't need to replace it for quite some time. In recent years, this air-cleaning function has become increasingly important for homeowners, and manufacturers have designed filters that use their heating and air system to remove microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, plant spores, and mold and mildew. Even smoke in the air in your home can be filtered out. As a result, your engine will receive the right amount of airflow, improving the air-gasoline mix.

Over time, those unwanted materials can be absorbed by the air intake in the engine while on the road, which could damage the pistons and block the carburetor. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is an industry standard classification for consumers to know how well an air filter cleans the air that passes through it. If you have a permanent air filter for your air conditioning unit, this can save you money in the long run. If you or another member of your family notices that they have experienced more allergy problems, this could indicate that you are experiencing indoor air pollution.

K&N air filters only need to be thoroughly cleaned when parts of the screen are no longer visible, or approximately every 50,000 miles. In addition, if you or a family member at home has a condition such as asthma, you'll need to keep a close eye on your air filters. If your utility bills have skyrocketed from previous months and are higher than what you paid last year at the same time, it's very likely that your air filter is the culprit. Typical dry filters are made of foam which blocks more particles than paper filters; however due to its density it is known to inhibit airflow as it becomes dirty.

Air filters are an essential part of maintaining the air conditioning system; when they become dirty they prevent it from working properly and eventually can cause costly repairs. While air filters are usually easy to access, if you find that yours isn't then you can leave maintenance to a garage mechanic who can recommend if and when you need to change them. To determine how often the air filter should be changed or cleaned check the filter label or ask your local HVAC technician. Therefore, the air filter helps the heating and cooling system do its job efficiently and protects it so that it lasts longer.

Over time an oil filter becomes so clogged with impurities that it no longer cleans the oil effectively; dirty oil continues to recirculate around the engine. If the air filter is full of dirt, insects or other obstacles then the engine may not get all the oxygen it needs.

Gina Vuoso
Gina Vuoso

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