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This Wildfire Season, Protect Your Indoor Air Quality

hazy-smoke-behind-mountainsDid you know that your indoor air quality can be worse than the quality of the air outdoors? This is true any time of the year if your home isn’t equipped with the right indoor air quality products and services. But it’s even more pertinent this time of the year–wildfire season!

Even if you’re not right near the fire, smoke, and ash alone can post serious risks to the safety and health of your family—particularly if anyone in your household is already susceptible to allergy and asthma symptoms. It’s vital that you pay attention to any evacuation warnings that are in place, regardless of your health status, for safety reasons, and know the dangers of being exposed to the particles in the air such as ash. This can include burning eyes, a runny nose, and respiratory distress such as bronchitis. Fine particles can even aggravate individuals with chronic heart or lung disease.

Wildfire Smoke and Your Indoor Air

Regardless of the time of year, there are a number of ways that particles from the outdoors can enter your home, including:

  • Through open doors and windows (natural ventilation).
  • Through bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans, AC systems with a fresh air intake, or your ERV or HRV system (mechanical ventilation).
  • Through any small openings, cracks, or defaults around closed windows or doors (infiltration).

What if the fire isn’t near my home?

There is still a threat—smoke and ash can travel many miles and come into your home. For even the healthiest person, it can make it hard to breathe. So understandably, if you have anyone in your home with allergies or asthma, the risk is even higher.

What can I do?

There are a number of steps you can take. First off, be sure to keep your windows and doors shut. Secondly, while you can still use your air conditioner, be sure to turn off the fresh air intake. This pulls in air from the outside and deposits it into your home. But when you use your air conditioner without this feature, the system is pulling air from inside your home and expelling it outdoors.

Additionally, having the right indoor air quality products in place can help to alleviate not only the problems that come with wildfire season, but also the symptoms that come along with natural and seasonal allergens. This can include pollen, pet dander, household products, and various other airborne particles. If you don’t already have these systems in place, consider installing the following:

  • Air Filtration System: This is one of the easiest ways to improve the quality of the air you breathe in your home.
  • Air Purifier: There are a few different types of air purifiers on the market, ranging from systems that effectively pull particulates from the air (which is helpful for this time of the year) to systems that are installed in your ductwork and eliminate microorganisms like mold and mildew (such as a UV air purifier).

These are just a couple of examples of the indoor air quality products we carry. Reach out to us today to learn more!

ACI Northwest is your trusted HVAC contractor in Spokane, WA, here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice.

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