It’s no surprise that breathing toxic fumes from wildfire smoke can have a negative impact on your health. Yet, some people don’t realize the impact it can have on the indoor air quality of their home too. When forests, homes, and other structures burn nearby, the smoke contains the complex mixture of gases and fine particles from those organic materials. When outdoor air particle concentrations increase, indoor air particle concentrations also increase. This happens particularly in homes because they usually have low-efficiency particle filtration systems or no particle filtration!
These microscopic particles can irritate a healthy person’s eyes and respiratory system. Breathing these unhealthy particles may also worsen symptoms for those with chronic heart or lung conditions. It is important to know how to improve indoor air quality and reduce air pollution in your home. Here are the top 3 tips you can do right away to improve indoor air quality and reduce air pollution in your home:
#1 – Change Your Furnace Filter
It is important to maintain your furnace filter and replace it when necessary. This will lower the many risks of pollutants re-entering into your home, particularly from forest fire smoke. While your HVAC equipment is working to filter the inside air, it’s also working to filter out common outdoor air pollutants. However, the filters can fill up and stop doing what they need to do 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, MM Comfort Systems has other options for improving your indoor air quality. MM Comfort Systems provides effective air filtration solutions that work against a variety of airborne pollutants including 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 the HVAC fan to ‘on’ allowing the air to continuously circulate through the filter, effectively removing particles from the air. Some newer homes have fresh air intakes meant to introduce fresh air into the home. Even though these intakes will allow a small quantity of smoky air from the outside to get in, the air still goes through the filtration system preventing it from reaching the interior of the home. This makes it even more important to have a clean filter on your system.
#3 – Consider Air Duct Cleaning
If you’ve run your HVAC system during a wildfire without a clean air filter, heavier particulates, like ash and soot, may have accumulated within the HVAC system. These pollutants can be distributed in the home as air moves through the duct system. If that happens, a professional duct cleaning will remove these harmful particulates and prevent them from spreading throughout your home. Periodic duct cleaning is recommended to keep your indoor air quality healthy especially if you have pets, allergies or other respiratory concerns.
If there is an active fire in your area the Air Quality Index can show if smoke levels may be unhealthy in your home. Need to check the latest smoke alerts in Washington? Find out now!
We know these are challenging times. If you need us, consider setting up an appointment with MM Comfort Systems. Our services include HVAC system maintenance with optional filter replacement, duct cleaning, air purification products and more to keep your air and your home, perfectly comfortable. Click here to schedule a service or give us a call today at 425-533-9058. The heating & air conditioning experts of Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and the greater Puget Sound area! #BreathCleanWithMMCOMFORT