Broadview, IL — Imagine, for a moment, the pleasure of cruising down a highway on a bright sunny day. You have the music turned up; the windows rolled down, and there is a breeze blowing through your hair. Sounds inviting, doesn’t it? But, then again, along with the breeze, the open windows are also an open invitation for airborne pollen, dust and mold particles to fly right into your vehicle. Those unwanted environmental guests can quickly turn the pleasant driving experience into a nightmare fit of sneezing, itchy eyes, coughing, and possibly breathing difficulties as well — especially if you or your passengers suffer from asthma and/or seasonal allergies.
Rolling up the windows and turning on the vehicle’s air conditioning system before you go too far down the road is a good preventative measure against drawing in irritating pollen and particulate matter like that from tire wear, exhaust, dirt, dust, soot and other outdoor sources. But, that solution works well only if the vehicle’s cabin air filter is relatively clean.
“The cabin air filter is a key component of modern ventilation systems in vehicles. It prevents pollutants such as particulates, pollen, dirt, dust and soot from entering the vehicle through the heating and air conditioning vents,” said Ramon Nuñez, spokesperson for Purolator a leading supplier of premium replacement cabin air filters and other kinds of automotive filters to the aftermarket in North America.
It is estimated that since 1995, approximately 110 million vehicles in the U.S. have been factory-equipped with cabin air filters. Strangely, many of the vehicle owner’s manuals for the early production-year models do not identify cabin air filters or make mention of the need to change them as part of the regular maintenance schedule. But, Nuñez said it is important to replace the cabin air filter about every 12,000 to 18,000 miles because a clogged filter can actually multiply the dangers from particulate matter and other pollutants that then get trapped inside a vehicle and blown about when the air conditioning system or heating system is in use.
Particulate matter (PM) is classified as coarse or fine. Coarse particulate matter (classified as PM10) includes particles smaller than 10 microns in diameter. Fine particulate matter (classified as PM2.5) includes particles equal to or less than 2.5 microns in diameter. Both coarse and fine particulate matter are smaller than the width of a hair, but they can quickly add up in quantity to pose some very big health problems.
Health professionals have long associated Particulate Matter pollution with asthma and other respiratory problems and also with infections, lung cancer and other severe ailments as well. “Efficient cabin air filters can help make a difference in your quality of life by preventing your exposure to pollen, particulate matter and other pollutants while driving,” said Nuñez.
Purolator offers two types of BreatheEasy® cabin air filters: the basic particulate filter that traps all manner of airborne particles including those originating from molds and spores and an upgraded filter that also removes unpleasant odors from the air like pungent, stinking and placid odors.
The basic BreatheEasy filter features a non-woven scientifically engineered media formed into a multi-layer design with pleats, which provides more surface area to filter out pollen and particulate matter. The filters are also Electrostatically charged to ensure that even the minute particulate matter gets trapped in the filter media similar to may household HVAC filters. Other features include foam perimeter gaskets and an injection-molded frame, when specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
The upgraded BreatheEasy filter also features an activated charcoal filter layer that absorbs most toxic and foul-smelling gases, such as ozone, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons.
Cabin air filters are easy to replace. But, where do you find the cabin air filter in your vehicle? “The cabin air filter is normally located in the cabin air intake, under the dash or sometimes behind the glove box,” said Nuñez. “Replacing the filter generally takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on its location and the design of the vehicle.”
BreatheEasy cabin air filters are available for most late-model domestic and import vehicles. They are packaged with clearly illustrated vehicle-specific instructions for many makes and models that make installation simple for do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) or professional technicians.
Purolator also invites DIYers and technicians to contact the Purolator PROs (Purolator Response Office) — a team of experts who will answer any filter-related question free of charge via personal e-mail. Purolator PROs can be contacted through the Purolator Web site at www.purolatorautofilters.net. The Web site also includes a wealth of information on every type of automotive filter, including online part number look up, as well special deals and promotions.
Around the country, cabin air filters are known by a variety of names, including pollen filter, air-conditioning filter, passenger compartment filter, interior ventilation filter and dust filter. But no matter by what name you call them, one thing is for certain: replacing your vehicle’s dirty, clogged cabin air filter with a new, premium quality aftermarket filter can help you and your passengers breathe easy while driving, so you can really enjoy the ride.
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