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(NAPSI)—Allergy experts predict a longer allergy season is likely this year due to the mild winter that most parts of the U.S. experienced. So it’s more important than ever to jump-start efforts to reduce allergy and asthma irritants around your home—and especially inside your vehicles.

“The air inside your vehicle can be six times more polluted than the air outside,” explains Paul Kortman of NAPA Filters, the world’s largest distributor of light- and heavy-duty filters for the automotive aftermarket. “Without proper filtration with a clean, functioning cabin air filter, the air inside the passenger cabin can be full of allergens and other pollutants. That can mean a significant health risk for kids and some 60 million people who suffer from asthma and allergies in the U.S.”

Cabin air filters block airborne contaminants like pollen, dust, car exhaust, allergens and the smelly buildup caused by mold, mildew, algae and fungi and more. Without a clean, functioning cabin air filter, microscopic contaminants are pushed into your car, much of it through vents. A dirty cabin air filter can degrade and potentially damage your vehicle’s heating and air-conditioning systems.

Breathe Easier Behind The Wheel

If you have a 2000 model year or newer vehicle, you probably have a cabin air filter. They are typically located under the dashboard or attached to the glove box, but some are found in the engine compartment. While a recent survey showed that 95 percent of vehicle owners are concerned about in-car air quality, just 26 percent said they knew there was a cabin air filter in their vehicle.

Driving conditions will determine how often a cabin air filter needs replacing. Dirt roads, dust-or pollen-filled areas and stop-and-go heavy traffic shorten a cabin air filter’s life. Most vehicle manufacturers suggest cabin air filters be replaced every 12 months or 12,000 miles.

Service specialists can check the condition of your cabin air filter and install a new one in as little as 20 minutes.

“Checking and changing a cabin air filter is a simple, cost-effective way to make a big difference in the quality of air you breathe in your vehicle,” Kortman adds. “We hope to help people and families with allergies become more aware of how it can help in fighting off a tough allergy season.”

For more information, visit www.NAPAFilters.com.