We all know how much the recent wildfires have affected the outdoor air quality in Oakland, the East Bay and our surrounding areas, but not as much has been said about indoor air quality during wildfires. While being indoors will always offer some protection from the smoke and debris produced by wildfires, some smoke will almost certainly get into your home and affect your indoor air quality. This can pose a serious health risk, especially if you or anyone in your family has allergies or other respiratory issues. Fortunately, a good indoor air filtration system can filter out most of the smoke and chemicals that wildfires create.
How Does Wildfire Smoke Affect Indoor Air Quality?
Smoke from wildfires can get into the most well-insulated homes through open doors and windows, through an HVAC system with insufficient filters, and through small openings around closed doors and windows. With a strong wind, even tiny cracks and other small openings that may be too small for you to see could allow in particulates. Naturally, the problem gets worse the closer your home is to the wildfire.
If your home is too close to a wildfire, you might be better off evacuating your home before the smoke becomes too dense and the air quality becomes too toxic. Otherwise, keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible, and pay close attention to emergency alerts near you.
How to Protect Your Family from Wildfire Smoke
If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, you can protect your family’s health by installing a high-efficiency HVAC filter system. We have been busy all summer adding IQAir and other air filtration systems to Bay Area homes battling wildfire smoke.
For improving air just a few rooms, a portable air cleaner may also serve. If you decide to purchase a portable air cleaner for one room in your home, match it to the size of the space you want to improve. An air cleaner that is too big or too small will either not work properly or be a waste of energy.
Having a supply of N95 respirator masks on hand will also be helpful. These masks can be purchased at most hardware stores and drugstores.
Finally, have your HVAC system checked out if it hasn’t received any maintenance in over six months. Regular visits from an air conditioning and furnace professional can really help improve your home’s air quality even if your home isn’t near a wildfire.
Work with Element Home Solutions to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Bay Area Home
To learn more about how to keep indoor air clean or about the best indoor air filtration systems, contact Element Home Solutions today. We serve homes throughout Oakland, East Bay, and all over the Bay Area, and we will be happy to help you during this difficult time.