How Fires affect your A/C Air Quality.
It’s been an unfortunate year for California as the drought continues. Fires have continued to occur here and there causing untold danger to nearby residents. However, you do not have to be near a fire to reap its effects. In fact, you can be hundreds of miles away and still breathe in the remnants of a fire right inside of your home.
All it takes is a little wind.
Smoke, ash, and other fire pollutants can travel over immense distances disrupting air quality as it spreads. For instance, in 2014 San Diego County fires affected air quality for residents from Los Angeles to southern Arizona. The Inland Empire area was blanketed with fire pollutants several times this year alone.
Advisory agencies like the South Coast Air Quality Management District and AirNow warn residents to limit outdoor activities and to stay indoors. However, if you are not careful your indoor air quality can suffer if you do not give your HVAC system some basic maintenance.
Your HVAC system’s filters trap billions of microscopic toxins, dust particles, and allergens from circulating throughout your home. Wildfires introduce untold trillions of particles into the air. If these are caught by winds that pass through the Inland Empire, these can find their way to your HVAC’s filters. The massive accumulation of these particles can quickly clog a filter and render it useless. Your home can then begin to have a severe drop in indoor air quality as it circulates trapped fire pollutants.
Keeping a regular schedule of basic “do-it-yourself” HVAC maintenance including changing your filter can help you to keep your home’s indoor air quality high. If the outdoor air quality has been extremely bad, it may be best to use HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to remove indoor air contaminants. These filters are designed to trap 99.97% of particulates. If you have any questions or concerns about your HVAC’s filters or operation, feel free to contact Design Air.