It’s no surprise that breathing toxic fumes from wildfire smoke can have a negative impact on your health. But some people don’t realize the impact it can have on the indoor air quality in their home as well. When forests, homes, and other structures burn, the smoke contains a complex mixture of gases and fine particles from those organic materials. When outdoor air particle concentrations increase, so do indoor air particle concentrations. This issue is common in homes because they usually have either low efficiency particle filtration systems or no particle filtration system at all!
These microscopic particles can irritate a healthy person’s eyes and respiratory system. For those with chronic heart or lung conditions, breathing these unhealthy particles can worsen symptoms. It’s important to know how to reduce air pollution and improve indoor air quality in your home. Here are the top 3 tips you can do right now to improve indoor air quality and reduce air pollution in your home:
#1 – Change your furnace filter
It’s important to maintain your furnace filter and replace it when needed. A clean filter will lower the many risks of pollutants re-entering into your home, especially from forest fire smoke. Your HVAC equipment works both to filter the inside air and filter out common outdoor air pollutants. However, when filters fill up and get dirty, they can stop doing their job for the indoor air quality of your home. Not only does that cause trouble for your indoor air quality, but it can also impact the blower in your HVAC system. So be sure to change your furnace filter. And if you have an existing heart or respiratory condition, Home Comfort Alliance has other options for improving your indoor air quality. Home Comfort Alliance provides effective air filtration solutions that work against a variety of airborne pollutants such as chemical VOCs, noxious odors, and particulate matter that can be found in forest fire smoke.
#2 – Adjust the air circulation on your HVAC system during a forest fire
Set your HVAC fan to “on.” This enables air to continuously circulate through the filter and effectively remove particles from the air. Some newer homes have fresh air intakes, which are meant to introduce fresh air into the home. But although these intakes will allow a small quantity of smoky air from the outside to get in, the air still goes through a filtration system that prevents it from reaching the inside of your home. This makes a clean filter even more important.
#3 – Consider air duct cleaning
If you’ve run your HVAC system during a wildfire without a clean air filter, heavier particulates such as ash and soot may have accumulated in your HVAC system. When air moves through the duct system, these pollutants can then be distributed throughout your home. In that case, professional duct cleaning will remove these harmful particulates and prevent them from spreading throughout your home. Periodic duct cleaning is recommended to maintain your indoor air quality, especially if you have pets, allergies, or other respiratory concerns.
If there is an active fire in your area, check the Air Quality Index, which can show you if smoke levels may be unhealthy in your home. Need to check the latest smoke alerts in Washington? Find out now!
We know these times are challenging. If needed, consider setting up an appointment with Home Comfort Alliance. Our services include HVAC system maintenance with optional filter replacement, duct cleaning, air purification products and more. These services will help keep your air and your home perfectly comfortable. Click here to schedule a service or give us a call today at (425) 645-0404. We’re the heating & air conditioning experts of Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and the greater Puget Sound area!