Cleaning Up Your Indoor Air in a Wildfire Zone
If you live in an area that is affected by wildfire and you already have an air purifier, this article will guide you in the use of the air purifier to help you make your home or office safer for breathing. If you do not own an air purifier, but are wondering if one might be useful in helping you clean your home, this article will guide you in purchasing and using one.
Indeed, if you are in an area affected by wildfire, you already know that smoke is composed of a tremendous concentration of very fine particulate matter that can wreak havoc on your health. Even if you seal yourself up in your home, those microscopic particles carried by the wind can seep into your house. An air purifier is not appropriate to clean up the large, very visible particles which settle out of the air onto easily wiped-up surfaces, but it will make a significant difference in the removal of tiny particulate from the air that is inhaled right past the cilia. An air purifier will capture the small particles that cause big respiratory problems.
If you own an air purifier and intend to use it to help your home recover from the onslaught of smoke and ash, you will first want to determine the state of the filters. If you have a unit with filter monitors, check those. If you have other air purifier brands, try to determine how long it has been since you changed the filters. If they are due, quickly obtain new filters. It is especially important that you change the pre-filter, which will prevent the HEPA filter from filling up with the smoke-related particulate too quickly.
If necessary, you can move your air purifier from room to room during the day, but you should certainly try to eliminate the airborne smoke particulate in the bedrooms as soon as possible. Leave the air purifier off while you do a thorough cleaning - vacuuming, wiping all surfaces and windows clean of the fine smoke and ash dust - then turn the air purifier on high and let it remove what has been stirred up from the cleaning. Unfortunately, depending on what the wind carries in and how much rain you get, you may find it necessary to clean daily for a while.
If you have never owned an air purifier and are considering one to help your home recover, there are a few basics to keep in mind. First, air purifier brands and models differ dramatically. Our website has hundreds of pages of information on air purifier uses, including reviews of models we do not carry. Take half an hour to review some of the articles to learn what the technology differences are. Second, choose a HEPA model with a filter than can hold a lot of particulate and absorb a lot of odor and chemicals, such as the Austin Air HealthMate. An inexpensive air purifier that can be purchased at a home improvement store will typically have small filters that are made for fairly clean houses; they are inappropriate in a wildfire zone and will fill up very, very quickly.
Our air purifier specialists will gladly discuss your particulate removal needs and your budget for one air purifier, or multiple units that can work collectively if you have a large home. We will help you return your home to its previous state of breath-ability, and quite possibly to make it even better than it was before the wildfire.