Due to global climate change, the wildfire has become a common phenomenon in many parts of the world, including in the US. United States is currently facing one of the worst wildfires in human history. Forests, Suburbs and even parts of cities are burning, and air quality is degrading every day.
In this unprecedented time, it’s obvious that you’ll be worried about your indoor air quality. Fortunately, you can increase the indoor quality by using your HVAC system. HVAC systems can play a key role in supplying fresh air in your home and office spaces. That’s why in this article, I’ll talk about how to use your HVAC system during fire advisory and wildfires. But before that, I’ll tell you about why you should take fire advisory seriously.
Take Fire Advisory Seriously
Fire advisory can be inconvenient for many, but it’s enforced for solid reasons. Wildfires not only destroy acres of lands but also emits toxic gases. These gases contain particulate maters and carcinogenic elements.
Particulate matter is made of dust at the microscopic level. With naked eyes, you cannot see the particulate matter. But if this particulate matter enters your respiratory system, it’ll create serious health issues.
Again, if you already have respiratory problems, you may have to admit to the hospital, or you’ll require emergency care. Besides, when trees are burnt, it creates polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are a highly carcinogenic element and it can create lung cancer.
Many scientists believe that wildfires emit mercury that is another highly carcinogenic element. That’s why you shouldn’t take fire advisory lightly. If the officials advise you to stay at home then you should obey it.
2 Ways to Use HVAC System During Fire Advisory
1. Upgrade Your HVAC Air Filter
Your HVAC system is as good as your HVAC air filter. If your air filter is dirty, your HVAC system won’t function properly, and the indoor air quality will be compromised.
Due to wildfire, air will be filled with dust, particulate matters, and other microparticles. As a result, your HVAC air filter will have to block more particles and dust from regular time. That’s why your HVAC air filter will become dirty quickly, and sometimes your regular HVAC air filter won’t be enough to block these microparticles.
So, it’s recommended to use a high-rated HVAC air filter. The higher the rating is, the more efficient your HVAC air filter will be in blocking particles.
While buying an HVAC air filter, you’ll have to look for MERV and HEPA ratings. These ratings indicate how efficient your HVAC air filter is.
MERV rating ranges between 1 to 16, and for optimal use, you should buy an HVAC air filter that has rating ranges between 12 to 15.
Again, if you’re not satisfied with MERV rated HVAC air filter, you can try the HEPA HVAC air filter. These air filters are efficient compared to the MERV rated HVAC air filter. According to many studies, a high-quality HEPA HVAC air filter can block 99.97% of particles from entering your space.
However, there is a catch. If your HVAC system is old, there is a high chance that your HVAC system won’t support a HEPA HVAC air filter. In this case, if you use a HEPA air filter, it’ll do more harm than good. Besides, the overall efficiency of your HVAC system will be reduced. That’s why, before buying a HEPA HVAC air filter, contact with an HVAC professional and ask about the compatibility of your HVAC system.
You can know more about HEPA and MERV HVAC air filters here.
2. Close Your HVAC Fresh Intake Vent
If you’re using a modern HVAC system, chances are your HVAC system has a fresh intake vent. The main purpose of this fresh intake vent is to keep the indoor clean. But this is only applicable for normal circumstances.
As I mentioned earlier, during the wildfire, air will be filled with more dust and microparticles. If you left your fresh intake vent open, your home would be filled with pollutants, and as a result, indoor air quality will be reduced.
That’s why, during the wildfire, you’ll have to close your HVAC fresh intake vent. Thus, pollutants cannot enter your space, and the indoor air quality will be in good condition.
This is undoubtedly an unprecedented time for the US. During this crisis, you’ll have to make sure that you’re following all the guidelines properly and staying at home. Besides, follow the steps that I have mentioned above to keep your indoor air quality clean.
See the summary of this content here in the infographic – Using HVAC System During Fire Advisory [Infographic]
By the way, are you looking for an HVAC system for your home?
Besides, for any Air Duct Cleaning, AC installation, AC replacement and AC repair services, call Green Leaf Air to ensure you get the best quotes and satisfying service.