Southern California is a beautiful place to live – we certainly love it here! But unfortunately, wildfires are part of the not-so-fun reality of residing in the area. Wildfires can make outdoor air unhealthy to breathe, which means that ensuring great indoor air quality (IAQ) is crucial for homeowners in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas.
Why Does a Wildfire Have Any Affect on Indoor Air Quality?
To put it simply, your home is not sealed off from the outside world. The air from the outside can make its way inside your home. So if the outside air quality is poor, it can create poor indoor air quality too. Outdoor air can make its way inside your home in a few ways:
- Open doors and windows – whether you are opening a door to leave your home, or you like to keep windows open for fresh air, this openings are natural ventilation for your home.
- Mechanical ventilation – devices that vent air to the outside (like exhaust fans in your bathroom) or which have a fresh air intake will increase the amount of outside air inside your home.
- Small openings – outside air can make its way into your home through tiny openings in the sealing of windows, doors, and even joints or cracks in the walls. This is called infiltration.
Depending on how close your home is to an active wildfire and the density of the smoke, your IAQ will fluctuate alongside outside air quality fluctuations.
How To Protect My Indoor Air Quality During Wildfires
Take action now to protect the health of your family during California’s wildfire season. Here are our recommendations:
- Reduce Exposure By Closing & Sealing Openings – Do a visual check of door stripping and window sealing, and repair any noticeable cracks in the seals. During an active wildfire, keep all windows and doors closed.
- Replace Air Filters Regularly – changing your air filter is an important home maintenance practice, and it’s even more important in extreme weather conditions. Consider replacing your filter monthly on the first throughout the wildfire season.
- Invest in a Whole-Home Air Purifier – An air purifier can dramatically improve your indoor air quality by eliminating pollutants as air recirculates through your HVAC system. We recommend the Carrier Infinity Air Purifier, which has been 3rd party tested in its effectiveness in controlling air pollution. This is hands-down the top recommendation for homeowners that are concerned about IAQ during wildfire season.
- Avoid Activities That Produce Indoor Pollutants – While your are doing your best to seal off any outdoor air from entering inside, take care to limit introducing new pollutants. Avoid burning candles, broiling food, spraying aerosol, or smoking indoors.
Take Action Now to Ensure Great IAQ During California’s Wildfires
Long-time Los Angeles residents will tell you: wildfire season is no joke. Act now to ensure a safe and healthy wildfire season for your family by implementing measures to improve your IAQ. Canoga Park Heating & Air Conditioning can install a high-quality indoor air purification system to help combat poor outdoor air quality. Call us for a no-obligation quote on an indoor air purifier. And don’t forget to take care of other safety measures before more wildfires develop, such as downloading the Smoke Sense app and preparing for an exit route.