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Wildfires Affect Indoor Air Quality

Picture of Wildfire

Wildfires are a common occurrence in the United States. They tend to be most common in the fall. Years that have drier summers can contribute to extensive wildfires, and these forest fires can burn a wide swath of land. The flames themselves are dangerous for homes and people, but the smoke itself can also cause health hazards.

Smoke Can Infest Your Home

The smoke from wildfires is made up of a variety of gases and particles. These contaminants can seep through your doors and windows and lead to polluted air within your home. When your indoor air quality becomes compromised by smoke, it can lead to health implications.

Those with asthma or other diseases that affect the heart or lungs might find it more difficult to breathe, and their health problems can become exacerbated. While there are not as many pollutants in wildfires as there are with tobacco smoke, the effects can be similar over time.

Even those who might not have lung problems might experience an itchy nose or throat. Eyes might water or itch. Bronchitis can also develop as a result of extensive smoke inhalation. If your health is bad, you might opt to evacuate an area that's experiencing poor air quality because of wildfire. However, smoke from widespread fires can actually cross state lines when there's a favorable wind. So what can you do to improve your indoor air quality if you stay put?

How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

If you're looking to improve your air quality, you might want to replace your air filters. While these will not catch all particles that are present in smoke, they will cut down on the prevalence of pollutants in your home. You might also decide to install an indoor air purifier. An electrostatic purifier can trap many pollutants that irritate your nose, throat, or lungs. Installing weather stripping can make your home more airtight and cut down on the amount of smoke that gets into your home as well. These steps all go towards establishing a clean room in your home.

Clean rooms are easily set up and will keep your air quality intact through wildfires. Simply pick one room, close all of the windows and doors to that room, switch your HVAC system to circulate your indoor air, and place an air purifier in the space. This combination is best for those worried about poor air quality.

For more information on home HVAC systems and purifiers, contact West Coast Air Conditioning at (805) 954-9195! Your comfort and safety matters.