Oregon is experiencing an unprecedented wildfire season right now. With abundant smoke, ash, and particulate matter produced by the fires, air quality is unsafe and can be dangerous for sensitive groups. The best thing we all can do is to stay home as much as possible and take the necessary precautions to maintain healthy indoor air quality. Our friends at Pyramid Heating & Cooling have shared what you can do NOW to keep the air in your home clean and safe.
1. Keep Doors and Windows Closed
Maintain your home’s tight envelope by keeping all windows and doors shut.
2. Eliminate or Reduce Interior Pollutants
Avoid indoor activities that reduce your home’s air quality, like smoking, burning candles, and using a gas stove. Unless your vacuum includes a HEPA filter, refrain from vacuuming to prevent stirring up dust and other particles.
3. Check and Replace Filters Often
During smokey and bad air quality days, check your air filter more frequently and replace as necessary. It’s also important to purchase the correct size filter for your opening in order to collect as many particles and pollutants as possible. Keep at least one or two extra filters so you always have one on hand.
4. Turn Off Fresh Air System
If your home is equipped with a fresh air system, turn it OFF while wildfire smoke is circulating in and around your area. These systems work by drawing fresh air from the outdoors into the home and will bring smoke into your ducts if left on. Set a reminder to turn the system back on once air quality improves.
5. Turn On HVAC
Set your fan to ON instead of auto so interior air is constantly filtered and circulated.
6. Clean Ducts
When wildfire smoke subsides and air quality returns to normal, have your home’s air ducts professionally cleaned to remove smoke residue, particulate, and debris.
If you are looking for ways to help evacuated and displaced families, donate time, money, or supplies, or ways to support our heroic firefighters, see these resources below: