Guide To Improve Indoor Air Quality During Wildfires

August 7, 2023
Posted in: Homeowner Tips

As wildfires continue to ravage different parts of Canada, indoor air quality has become a major concern for many people. In 2018, the National Forestry Database reported approximately 7000 wildfires in Canada, burning over 2.2 million hectares of land. It has been estimated that wildfire occurrences will increase 25% by 2030. During wildfire incidents, smoke and other pollutants can easily enter our homes, causing respiratory problems and other health issues. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to improve indoor air quality during wildfires. In this article, we will talk about those steps to minimize the impact of wildfires on your indoor air quality and health.

Keep Your Windows And Doors Closed 

The first step during an ongoing wildfire is to keep your windows and doors of your home closed as much as possible. This may seem obvious, but many people forget to do this and end up exposing themselves to more pollutants than necessary. If you need to open a window or door for ventilation, make sure to do so when the air outside is less smoky. You can check the air quality index in your area to determine when it is safe to open your windows.

Invest In An Air Purifier 

Investing in an air purifier is another effective way to improve indoor air quality during wildfire season. Air purifiers work by removing pollutants from the air, including smoke, dust, and other harmful particles. When buying an air purifier, look for one with a HEPA filter, which can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. For best practice, you should make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to replace the filter.

Adjust Your HVAC System 

Using an HVAC system with a high-quality air filter is also important to ensure indoor air quality. Make sure to replace your air filters regularly, especially during wildfire season. The filter should have a MERV rating of at least 13, which can capture tiny particles like smoke and pollen. 

Also, if you have an HVAC system with a fresh air intake, set the system to recirculate mode, or close the outdoor intake damper. Have your HVAC system inspected and maintained by a HVAC professional to ensure it is working properly and efficiently. 

Clean Your Home 

Keeping your home clean is another easy way to improve indoor air quality during wildfires. Vacuum and dust your home regularly to remove any pollutants that may have settled on surfaces. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to ensure that you are not spreading dust and other particles around your home.

Use Natural Products 

Reducing the use of products that can release harmful pollutants is another way to combat poor air quality. Avoid using harsh cleaning products and air fresheners, which can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Instead, use natural cleaning products or make your own using homely ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

Install A Carbon Monoxide Detector 

Make sure your home is fitted with Carbon Monoxide alarms and the batteries are changed regularly to detect harmful levels of CO in the air which can pose serious health risks to you and your family. 

Stay Updated On Local Air Quality 

Finally, it is important to stay informed about the air quality in your area. Check the air quality index regularly and take steps to protect yourself and your family if the air quality is poor. This may include staying indoors, wearing a mask when outdoors, and limiting physical activity.

In conclusion, improving indoor air quality during wildfires is essential for protecting your health and the health of your family. If you have an old or poorly maintained HVAC system, it can greatly reduce indoor air quality of your home and impact the health of you and your family during wildfire season. Contact Taunton Trades at 905-493-4227 or email for professional inspection and maintenance of your HVAC system to ensure the safety and comfort of your family throughout the year.


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