Smoke over San Francisco Wildfire and AC Units

Will Your Air Conditioner Filter Out Wildfire Smoke?

When you live in the Bay Area, protecting your home from wildfire smoke is now a top priority. You can shut your doors and windows when the smoke gets particularly heavy. But, can your air conditioner help keep indoor air clean? After all, an air conditioner is intended to cool the air and recirculate it throughout your home. It isn’t designed to improve indoor air quality challenged by soot and ash during fire season. And yet, your air conditioner can provide some protection against wildfire smoke if you have the right equipment.

Air Conditioners and Wildfire Smoke

Purifying the air in your home isn’t the main function of an air conditioner unit. But having one in your home can provide some protection against wildfire smoke and other pollutants.

  • First, it allows you to stay cool and comfortable in your home without having to open your windows. That alone will cut down on the smoke that might get into your home.
  • Second, you can upgrade the filters in your air conditioner to capture more particulate matter:
    • Cheaper filters will only remove large particulate matter, but the protection they provide will still improve the air quality in your home.
    • More expensive and elaborate filters can remove odors, chemicals, and any of the small and large particulates that can be found in wildfire smoke. They also typically last for six months in your air conditioner.
  • Third, you can add a robust air scrubber to your ventilation system.

Protecting Yourself From Wildfire Smoke

Adding air filtration to HVAC systems is the best way to protect a home from wildfire smoke.  And, as we mentioned, close up your home when wildfire smoke gets particularly heavy. And make sure that you set your air conditioning unit to recirculate air throughout your home and not bring in too much air from outside. If you do have an air filtration unit attached to your AC system, make sure to change the filter regularly. Even if you have a filter that is designed to last for months, you should still check it to make sure it is functioning properly and isn’t too dirty.

Air Filtration Unit Can Be Added to Ventilation Systems

If you have a home in Oakland, the East Bay area, or anywhere else where wildfire smoke descends, don’t hesitate to contact Element Home Solutions to discuss HVAC air purifiers. They are the best way to protect your home from smoke and other pollutants, and they can be installed easily in most HVAC systems.