How to control indoor air quality for wildfire season
Pay attention to alerts
First of all, if there is an active fire close to your home, it may be best to evacuate. Pay close attention to local emergency alerts, and follow guidelines. If there is an active fire close enough to cause high smoke levels, but is not a threat to your home, follow your local guidelines. EPA's AirNow website is a helpful source to get up-to-date air quality information.
Prepare for fire season now
If you live where there is a high risk of wildfires, take steps now to prepare. Knowing what to do during fire season is especially important for the health of children, older adults, and people with heart or lung disease.
- Consider keeping a supply of N95 respirator masks on hand, especially if you live with anyone vulnerable to poor air quality.
- Invest in an air purifier like Airmega that meets HEPA standards. An advanced purification system can help control your home’s indoor air quality.
- If you have a central HVAC system, find out if it has a fresh air intake. If it does, find out how to close it or turn the system to recirculate mode.
- If you have a window air conditioner, find out how to close the outdoor air damper. Make sure that the seal between the air conditioner and the window is as tight as possible.
Watch for air leaks
Be on the lookout for ways you can better seal your home. Outdoor air, including fine particles from wildfire smoke, can enter your home in a number of ways:
- natural ventilation—open windows and doors
- mechanical ventilation—bathroom, kitchen, or HVAC fans with fresh air intake
- infiltration—small cracks or joints around closed windows and doors
You can better seal windows or doors like you would for weather stripping, giving you more control over your indoor air.
Air purifiers like Airmega can help protect your family
One way to protect yourself from the negative effects associated with smoke pollution is to use a True HEPA-filter air purifier, like the Coway Airmega. True HEPA filters capture and reduce up to 99.97* percent of particles 0.3 microns in the air, including pollen, pollutants and other allergens.
Check out FEMA’s How to Prepare for a Wildfire for additional detail on how to protect yourself.
*Based on the True HEPA filter material standard. The actual performance will be determined by indoor air quality and operation of the unit.