With the recent fires affecting California many may wonder what steps to take to maintain your health and safety. Fortunately, your HVAC system can be beneficial during times like these where poor air quality is present not only outdoors but inside your home as well. If your HVAC system is properly maintained, specifically with clean filters, they can assist in purifying indoor air.
During a time of active wildfires, the affected population will extend further than the flame path and evacuated zone. Air quality will suffer as a result of the smoke and will affect you and your family. Children and people who suffer from cardiovascular issues or respiratory ailments such as asthma, or lung disease are especially vulnerable and harmed by smoke inhalation. If the air quality is bad in your area you’ll want to follow the following tips. Try to stay indoors as much as possible and wear a protective N95 or P100 mask when outdoors. Keep your windows, doors, outside vents and dampers shut to prevent any toxins from coming in.
Improve Indoor Air Quality with Your HVAC System
Although outdoor air quality may be poor, you can use your HVAC system to improve the indoor air quality of your home. By using your HVAC system effectively, a large amount of toxic particles in the air can be filtered out from the home.
Change the air filters. The first step you can take is to change all the HVAC air filters. Select a higher quality filter such as a HEPA air filter. A clean filter will be able to handle the increase in toxins in the air. Even a HEPA certified air purifier with air filter or portable air cleaners can be used in addition to your HVAC system.
Close the fresh air intake on your ac. Turn your ac on to circulate the air in your home through the HVAC system’s filtration system to help purify the air. During a wildfire, the fresh air intake can allow unhealthy air to come into your home. To keep the smoky air from entering your home, close the intake using the damper.
Keep bathroom and window fans off. These fans typically pull outside air into your home. It is important to turn them off during a fire advisory.
It is important to follow all evacuation orders for your area during a wildfire. Have a plan in place that will allow you and your family to be able to evacuate quickly and safely. Even if not in direct path of the flames, smoky air can travel many miles. The air can be especially distressing for people with asthma, allergies or other respiratory ailments or even for healthy adults it can cause nausea or shortness of breath. A well maintained, efficient HVAC system can help you if you must stay in the area. Clean filters will help filter out smoky air to provide your home with better indoor air quality. If you are concerned of future fires in your area, you can also install an air purification system.
Call us at (818) 341-3406 or contact us online to schedule maintenance for your ac and furnace to keep your system running efficiently when you need it the most. Regular maintenance is the best path you can take to prevent small issues from becoming costly repairs and to help ensure indoor air quality. In time of a wildfire, you can check the air quality in your area by checking the EPA’s Air Quality Index Forecast.
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