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The essentials of the cabin filter
The essentials of the cabin filter

The essentials of the cabin filter

The cabin air filter: the guardian of air quality in your vehicle

From electric cars to tractors and construction machinery, the quality of the air inside a vehicle depends largely on the cabin filter. Often overlooked but essential, the cabin filter is strategically located upstream of the ventilation system. But do you know how this circuit works?
  1. Outside air enters the system at the front of the vehicle, through grilles designed to block large impurities and debris. This position guarantees a constant and consistent supply of fresh air.
  2. Once inside, the air is directed to the cabin filter located under the dashboard for cars and HGVs, or often outside the cab for agricultural and construction machinery.
  3. A blower then takes over, controlling the flow of air into the cabin. Depending on your choice on the dashboard, the purified air can be directed to the heating or air conditioning system. In air-conditioning or demisting mode, the air passes through an evaporator fed with refrigerant, cooling the air and eliminating humidity. For heating, the air is heated via a radiator (called a "heater core") through which hot coolant from the engine flows.
  4. Once it has passed through the heat exchangers, the dry air is directed via flaps to the interior vents, providing a comfortable and healthy indoor climate. To find out more about the specific operation of your vehicle, refer to the user manual or contact the manufacturer.
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At HIFI FILTER®, we offer "SC" cabin filters, suitable for ventilation systems on all types of equipment.

Select a filter suited to your environment

With so many pollutants in the environment, choosing the right cabin air filter for your vehicle is crucial. Each type of cabin air filter in the HIFI FILTER® range targets specific contaminants to ensure purified indoor air.

Standard media

In the form of pleated media, cellulose or synthetic filters are the standard filters par excellence. Fitted as standard on the vast majority of vehicles, they guarantee healthy air in your cabin by filtering out dust and pollen as small as a few micrometres (references SC [...]).
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Media impregnated with activated carbon

Available from HIFI FILTER under the part numbers SC [...] CA, these filters combine synthetic media with a layer of activated carbon granules. This dual filtration retains particles as well as odours, particularly from exhaust fumes. Ideal for city use.
To find out more about activated carbon, see our dedicated article.
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Multi-layer activated carbon impregnated media

CAM 3 models are composed of several layers of impregnated media. This superposition of media and activated carbon offers superior performance. CAM3s are therefore capable of effectively filtering out particles, unpleasant odours and certain noxious gases.
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Antibacterial activated carbon impregnated media

High levels of humidity coupled with pollen and dust can create an environment conducive to the growth of mould and bacteria on the surface of filter media.
With their fungistatic coating combined with their activated carbon-impregnated media, the filters in the HIFI FILTER ® SC [...] CAB cabin air filter range are a proven solution for protecting users against micro-organisms, odours and solid particles.
How do you recognise it? They are easily identified by their coloured media, usually blue or yellow.
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High-efficiency HEPA media

Featuring ultra-fine fibres, HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) cabin air filters use cutting-edge technology to capture up to 99.95% of particles as small as 0.3 µm. Their complex structure is specially designed to effectively trap allergens, bacteria, aerosols and fine particles, delivering outstanding air quality inside vehicles.
⚠️Never touch the HEPA filter media! Any contact risks significantly altering the media and its performance.
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Granular activated carbon filters

HIFI FILTER® offers a range of filters specially designed for highly contaminated environments, such as agriculture, public works or demolition. What makes them special? These filters combine several types of media. In conditions where air pollution is more intense and contaminants more varied, this combination of media offers a complete filtration solution, ensuring purified air in your cabin.
Available as SC [...] CAG and SC [...] PAV4, these filters have a first filtration stage consisting of standard media or HEPA media for particulate filtration. A cell of activated carbon in block or granule form then completes the filtration by adsorption*. This large quantity of activated carbon protects the user from odours, but above all from noxious gases and toxic vapours present in the environment.
*Adsorbing means causing adsorption, a phenomenon in which undesirable molecules adhere to the surface of a porous material without penetrating inside it.
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By analysing the pollutants present in your driving environment, you can now choose the type of filter best suited to your air quality needs. If you need personalised advice, don't hesitate to contact us.

When should you change your cabin filter?

To preserve your ventilation system and ensure healthy indoor air, it's essential to know when your cabin filter needs changing. Warning signs of a clogged or damaged filter include a rapid build-up of dirt on your windows, reduced demisting efficiency, unpleasant odours and reduced airflow. When you notice these symptoms, it's time to take action.
There is no universal standard for replacing a cabin filter, as it depends on a number of factors, including the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations, the vehicle model, the type of cabin filter and how often you use it.
Above all, the frequency of replacement will depend on your working environment, the concentration of contaminants and their harmfulness. The more contaminated your environment, the more frequently you'll need to change the filter. This applies in particular to public works machinery and vehicles used in mines, which are exposed to high levels of dust. In the agricultural sector, regular replacement is also recommended, especially if the contaminants can have harmful effects on your health, such as plant protection products.
If you have any doubts, consult your vehicle's owner's manual and contact our teams for personalised advice.

⚠️When replacing filters containing harmful contaminants, never do it with your bare hands! Use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as nitrile gloves, goggles and a mask to ensure your safety during replacement. This simple precaution can make all the difference.

For detailed information on how to protect yourself against plant protection products and other potentially dangerous substances, please consult our specialised article: How to protect yourself against plant protection products?


Importance of regular maintenance

As soon as you turn on the air conditioning or heating, the cabin filter inevitably gets dirty. When it becomes too clogged, the filter is no longer able to retain contaminants, degrading the quality of the air inside your vehicle. Worse still, some media such as activated carbon can release pollutants into the cabin that it had previously captured, exposing the driver to health risks.
From a mechanical point of view, an excessively dirty filter can cause problems with the air conditioning system. Not only does it make it difficult to demist the windscreen, but it can also prevent the air conditioning or heating from working, while allowing unpleasant odours to linger. If the filter is completely blocked, the ventilation system motor may even be damaged, leading to costly repairs.
Regularly changing your filters ensures clean air in the cabin, protects your health by preventing the inhalation of contaminants, and ensures a pleasant drive.
💡 For complete maintenance of your air conditioning system, discover the air conditioning dryers offered by HIFI FILTER® in our dedicated article. Preserving the air quality in your vehicle is an informed choice that contributes to your well-being and comfort during your journeys.
To extend the life of a cabin filter, we strongly advise against :
  • Use compressed air to clean dirty filters. This method may damage the filters, compromising their efficiency.
  • Wash dirty cabin filters. Washing can cause damage, reducing their performance.
  • Shaking or knocking the filters. Such actions could release harmful substances that could be inhaled.

Above all, don't forget that an efficient filter means you can breathe healthy air in your car, so make sure you maintain it properly.