YAKIMA, WA - The air quality is a big concern for everyone across our region. People are wearing masks and keeping their pets indoors. But there could be something you're overlooking: how the smoky air is affecting air filters in your car.
The air filter in your engine isn't the one people should be concerned about. It's the cabin filter that's inside your car.
This filter deals with the heating and air conditioning systems inside the car. If you haven't had these filters looked at this year, you should. They could be getting even more dirty because of the major wildfires burning in Washington and Oregon.
"I think it's proximity to the fire," said Randy Juette, owner of RJ's Tire Pros. "They're going to have heavier particles closer to the fire so they're going to be bigger, but we start to get up here in Yakima and it's a little finer. So it's not going to be that bad for your air filter."
One way to make sure that smoky air doesn't get into the car is to use the re-circulation button. this will reuse the air in your car instead of drawing it from the outside.
Cabin filters should be changed once a year.
Juette says people can change their cabin air filter on their own, but you have to be a little savvy. In most newer cars, the filters are under the dash, which means you'd have to take out the glove compartment to get to them.
But if you're too intimidated to do it yourself, be sure to take it to a professional.