High indoor air quality makes an obvious difference on your sense of comfort at home. It’s important to keep it at healthy levels, especially during wildfires. Wind carries smoke and other airborne contaminants over long distances. Even if your home is far away, indoor air quality could be affected. This is particularly true for western US states due to the frequency of wildfires.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat fire season in Wyoming and keep indoor air quality high. We’ll go into detail about why it’s important to take precautions and share a few tips for how to improve indoor air quality during fire season in Wyoming.
How Fire Season in Wyoming Affects Your Health
The smoke from wildfires can carry a lot more airborne pollutants than just the smoke particles themselves. As the fire spreads, updrafts and existing winds pick up other contaminants like dirt and microorganisms. These contaminants can cause several issues to your health and well-being:
Irritate eyes, throat and sinuses: Smoke and airborne pollutants can burn your eyes and irritate the sinuses in your nose and throat. You may cough and sneeze more, especially if humidity is low.
Aggravate respiratory conditions: People with conditions like asthma and allergies may experience aggravated symptoms. Even minor breathing problems can disrupt your day.
Increase risk of illnesses like bronchitis: Lungs can become inflamed after inhaling smoke and other particles. This may cause illnesses like bronchitis or other diseases depending on what contaminants are in the air.
5 Tips for Raising Indoor Air Quality
Keeping your indoor air quality up during fire season is primarily about minimizing how much outdoor air gets inside your home. Older homes or any that lack adequate insulation may be at a higher risk due to minor cracks and openings the smoke can get through. Here are five ways you can fight back against fire smoke.
- Keep all windows and doors shut: Known as natural ventilation, your home is obviously exposed to outdoor air when a door or window is open. Keep them tightly shut and consider adding something like weatherization tape for more protection.
- Turn off or recirculate your HVAC system’s ventilation: Many common HVAC systems have an intake component where outdoor air is pulled inside for ventilation. You can shut this off or switch the HVAC system to recirculate the air indoors.
- Upgrade your air filter or install dedicated filtration equipment: Forced air HVAC systems have an air filter. You can upgrade this filter with one capable of trapping more airborne contaminants. There are also lots of dedicated IAQ products like filtration systems and UV lights. Installing these can significantly increase filtration effectiveness.
- Add a portable air cleaner in rooms you use often: Portable air cleaners are easy to take from room to room. Place them toward the middle of the room, away from doors and windows as well as the walls. This maximizes air circulation.
- Limit activities that can add airborne contaminants: Common household tasks can produce their own pollutants. Smoke from cooking, cleaning chemicals and other substances contribute to the concentration of particles in the air. When every bit helps, reducing the frequency of these tasks is a good idea.
AC Mechanical Fights for a Clean, Healthy Home
Everyone in Wyoming deserves clean, healthy indoor air. The HVAC professionals at AC Mechanical offer a wide range of IAQ services that can reduce the impact fire season has on your indoor air quality. Learn more by giving us a call at 307-778-0515 today.