Fire season is in full swing in the United States and Canada, and it’s never too soon to take action. Even if you’re not in an active evacuation zone, the air quality outside can become unhealthy in a matter of hours. Your home should be a refuge from the smoke, but what if it isn’t? Here are a few easy ways to help improve air quality inside your home during fire season.
Inspect and Upgrade Your HVAC System
One of the best ways to prepare for potentially unhealthy air quality this fire season is to have your HVAC system inspected by an HVAC professional and upgraded if needed. An HVAC system that is not working 100% can cause smoke or debris to get inside your home, which can be very unhealthy for you and your family.
Contact your local HVAC professional today to get a quote.
Keep Windows and Doors Closed
One of the best ways to improve air quality inside your home is to keep windows and doors closed at the first sign of smoke. If your home’s doors or windows are not well-sealed or insulated, use towels, tape, or other materials to stop drafts.
When you do open doors to enter and exit your home, be sure to do it quickly so you reduce the amount of unhealthy air entering your space.
Create a “Clean Room”
If you are unable to keep all areas of your home free from unhealthy air or smoke, choose one room to designate as the “clean room.” This room should be where you focus your efforts on keeping the air clean. In addition to keeping the windows and doors sealed, avoid cooking, smoking, or burning candles in this room. You can also try making a DIY air purifier with a box fan and HVAC air filter. You might be surprised by how much of a difference a filter can make!
Know the Symptoms of Smoke Exposure
If you or a loved one are experiencing unhealthy air quality due to wildfires, you should be aware of the dangers of prolonged smoke exposure. Symptoms of smoke exposure include (but are not limited to) coughing, difficulty breathing, sensitive or burning eyes, runny nose, chest pains, headaches, increased pulse, asthma attacks, and heart attacks.
If you have one or more of these symptoms and suspect wildfire smoke as the cause, consult a doctor immediately. Additionally, be sure to follow local guidance about evacuation if the wildfire is close to your home or if you are at a higher risk of smoke-related illnesses.