Due to climate change and many other reasons, wildfires have become common in the US. Wildfires not only degrade forests and adjacent localities, but also affect your HVAC system. However, you can protect HVAC system from wildfire smoke if you take these measures.
5 Ways to Protect HVAC System from Wildfire Smoke
1. Upgrade the Air Filter
When it’s about keeping the air quality good and ensuring HVAC efficiency, air filter plays a significant role. By installing a high-rated HVAC air filter, you can keep the air quality at a good level.
To measure the effectiveness of an HVAC air filter, a MERV rating is used. This scale ranges from 1 to 16.
It’s advised to install air filters with a MERV rating of 11 or more. However, if your AC unit is relatively older then there is a high possibility that the high-rated air filters won’t be compatible with your HVAC unit. And if you still use such a high-rated air filter, your HVAC system won’t function properly. That’s why before installing such air filters, contact an HVAC professional.
Again, if you’re thinking about upgrading your old AC, this can be the perfect time for it. With a modern HVAC system, you can enjoy all the benefits of a modern HVAC unit and have higher IAQ.
N.B. During wildfire season, it’s advised to replace the air filter frequently. Because during this time, there are more dust and micro-particles in the air, which can block the air filter faster. And if you keep using the clogged air filter, your system’s efficiency and performance will be compromised.
2. Seal the Doors & Windows
If you have broken doors and windows, polluted air from outside will enter your home. As the air conditioning unit circulates the air continuously, pollution will spread in your house and make your space unlivable. That’s why if you find any leaks in your door or windows, you should seal them.
You can use foam tape, weatherstrip, window film, etc. to seal the windows and doors. However, if your doors and windows are in bad condition, you must replace them.
Replacing the broken doors and windows requires a good chunk of money upfront. But if you want to keep the IAQ higher, you’ll have to do it.
3. Clear Debris around the HVAC Unit
As soon as the wildfire advisory is over, you’ll have to ensure that there is no debris inside or around the HVAC unit. For this, at first, replace the air filter with a carbon-infused air filter. This carbon-infused air filter will remove fumes from your space.
If the wildfire smoke was heavy, it’s a possibility that debris has entered your HVAC system. Here, you’ll have to call HVAC professionals and clean the HVAC unit thoroughly. Besides, you can do a routine maintenance checkup to make sure everything is in proper order.
4. Close the Fresh Intake Vent
The fresh intake vent allows outside clean air to enter your space. But when the outside air is polluted and if you keep the intake vent open, IAQ will drastically drop. This is why during the wildfire, keep the fresh intake vents closed.
If you can’t find or close the intake vents, check the user manual and follow the procedures. If you’re still confused about how to close the intake vents, call nearby cooling professionals.
5. Do Air Duct Cleaning
During a wildfire, smoke, ashes, and dust can accumulate inside your HVAC air ducts. If you keep your air ducts like this, these particles will mix with the produced air and pollute your house. Besides, these particles can get inside your AC and damage the parts. That’s why as soon as the wildfire is over, clean the air ducts thoroughly. Also, while cleaning, check for leaks in the air ducts, and if there are any, repair them ASAP.
If you’re looking for the best HVAC maintenance and repair service in Dallas and its surrounding areas, contact Green Leaf Air. We have experienced HVAC professionals who can handle all sorts of HVAC systems. Also, we provide 24/7 emergency HVAC service to our clients. Call 972-992-5006 for more details.
See the summary here in an infographic – Protecting HVAC System from Wildfire Smoke [Infographic]