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Energy tip #3: replace your car’s air filter

Replacing your air filter could help you save up to $150 a year…and allow you to afford your favorite coffee maker, a thermos, and finally drop those pesky disposable cups. It will also eliminate over 1,000 lbs of CO2 emissions.

The air filter (a slightly meatier version of the coffee variety) is a necessary part of your car that cleans particulates from the air before it hits your engine. The result is dramatically improved horsepower and efficiency. But drive around a while and the filter tends to collect grime, gradually diminishing its effectiveness. Just ask people who live in LA.

The Department of Energy claims that replacing a clogged filter can improve fuel efficiency by up to 10%. 10%? Smokes. That’s about thirty cents on every gallon of gas. Newer filters also sport improved designs. For example, you can find more environmentally friendly washable filters at autopart stores.

Let’s look at the math (spreadsheet here):

Miles/yr: 12,000
MPG: 19.6
MPG with clean filter: 21.56
Gallons saved per year: 56
$/yr. saved on gas: $165
Cost of air filter: $15-50

Total $ saved/year: $115-150
Lbs CO2 saved/year: 1,088

As always, you can add 12,000 lbs. of carbon reduction to your 1,088 by buying a Standard TerraPass — and you’ll still end up saving $65-100.

Last week about 30 people pledged to inflate their tires within two weeks.
30 x 383 lbs/person. = 11,490 lbs of CO2 reduced = 1 car off the road. Nice job everyone.

How many of you will be checking to see if you could use a new air filter?

Also be sure to check out Tip #1 and Tip #2 for other ways to finance a TerraPass or your morning bean brew.

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