It’s not as much keeping the smoke out, as dealing with the smoke itself. The smoke is going to permeate nearly everything, but there are steps you can take to better your air quality. First, let’s take a look at what smoke does to our health.
How bad is wildfire smoke for your health?
According to the EPA, the largest threat from smoke is the particulates. The microscopic debris accumulated in the air enters the lungs and can even make its way into the circulatory system due to its finite size.
The health problems that can arise from the inhalation of these particles ranges from minor irritations like burning eyes and sinus problems to much more serious conditions such as chronic heart and lung diseases, and has been linked to premature death, as well.[/vc_column_text]
How to filter wildfire smoke out of your house.
For those with a central air system, the filters can be upgraded to improve filtration of these dangerous particles. HEPA filters are the most effective, as they contain a fine mesh intended to trap particulates as air circulates through the HVAC system.
The EPA reports that air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters are able to reduce particle concentrations by as much as 85%.
What is MERV rating and what MERV rating should I use?
MERV stands for MINIMUM EFFICIENCY REPORTING VALUE, which is a system used in evaluating the efficiency of a filters ability to catch particles of different sizes. In short, the higher the MERV rating, the better it is able to catch particles.
Due to the fact that smoke particles range in size from 0.3 to 1.0 microns, you’ll want to use a filter with a MERV rating of 11 or higher. Anything less with not be as efficient in eliminating these particles from the air in your home.
Though, the air flow restriction of higher MERV filters needs to be taken into account, as low air flow problems may arise. Typically, ERV 13 is the highest rating you’d want to use in a residential application.
Air Purifiers vs. Air Conditioning.
Purification and conditioning are two separate ideas. HVAC systems circulate air throughout the home, removing heat or humidity and, aside from what the filters catch, redistribute dust and allergens that get pulled into the system. The filter doesn’t disinfect the particles it catches, either, so they are unable to eliminate odor, mold spores, and other contaminants.
An air purifier can eliminate odor, but only if it is equipped with active carbon filters, and this only helps to get rid of the bad smells. If you want to remove toxic gases, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Particulate Matter, there are technologies available such as Plasmacluster Ion purification.
This technology disables microorganisms through the generation of positive and negative ions, which form a cluster that surrounds airborne particles, breaking down the cell structure of the contaminant.
What is Germicidal Irradiation?
Germicidal irradiation is a method of disinfection through use of shortwave UV light to destroy nucleic acids within the microorganism, effectively damaging its DNA and inhibiting basic cellular functions.
Clarke & Rush Will Help You Find the Right Solution.
To better understand the options available to you, you should consult a professional to discuss how your family and home can benefit from HVAC maintenance, specific filtration methods and the many products available.
Clarke & Rush is Sacramento’s trusted leader in HVAC and Home Comfort. We are happy to help you find the air quality solution that meets your needs.