Breathe Easier Indoors With High Quality Indoor Air Filters
The past few weeks on the US West Coast have been unbearably hot — reaching record temperatures — and smokey. As wildfires raged across California, Oregon and Washington, residents avoided going outdoors and kept their doors and windows shut.
Wildfire Smoke: An Invisible Invader
Wildfire smoke is an unhealthy concoction of carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, trace minerals, particulate matter and other organic compounds. Exposure to the chemicals in wildfire smoke can cause a range of symptoms, such as burning eyes, a runny nose, cough, phlegm, wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Individuals with heart or lung disease are at increased risk and may experience much more serious symptoms. Pregnant women exposed to wildfire smoke will also experience adverse health effects, affecting their health as well as the health of their unborn child.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
During this time, it’s important to make sure the home’s HVAC system has clean, high-quality air filters. Air filters should typically be replaced once every three months. But when wildfires are polluting the air with smoke, it’s important to inspect and replace the filters more frequently. Ash buildup on an air filter can inhibit air flow and reduce the quality of indoor air. If you’ve replaced your home’s air filter within the last 60 days, we recommend replacing it again — household members with breathing difficulties will feel a noticeable difference in air quality once you do.
Consider installing high quality air filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of at least 13. The higher the rating, the more pollutants the air filter is able to remove. Air filters with a MERV 13-16 rating are able to remove household dust and pollen, mold spores, microscopic allergens, outdoor pollution, pet dander, bacteria, most tobacco smoke, sneeze bacteria and virus carriers. During this season of wildfires, a high quality air filter is especially important.
You should also consider purchasing an air purifier. An air purifier can help alleviate symptoms of asthma, eliminate chemicals and toxins, neutralize unpleasant odors, reduce the risk of developing an airborne disease such as the common cold or flu, and improve your sleep quality.