If you’ve ever opened up your weather app and seen a warning for poor air quality in your area, you may be wondering what that really means for your health and the safety of your family. Air pollution comes from vehicle exhaust, smoke, road dust, industrial emissions, pollen, gas-fueled yard equipment, and other sources.
Each day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzes the levels of five major air pollutants in various locations around the country and assigns it a number 0 to 500. This value is the AQI and it measures air quality in your area. The higher the AQI, the more pollution in the air. If the AQI is above 100 where you live, you may want to consider staying inside for the day.
Here’s how to keep the air within your home safe and healthy so you can breathe easy when there are high levels of air pollution outside.
Keep Doors and Windows Closed
Make sure windows and doors that lead outside are well-sealed when closed and try to limit the amount of times you open and close them. The less you go in and out of your house, the less likely the debris and pollution from the air will make it inside.
Turn on The Air Conditioning
Poor air quality from wildfire smoke is very common in the summer, which means boarding up your house and camping out inside when it’s hot out. The good news is, most air conditioners operate by cooling the air inside your home and recirculating it, rather than pulling it from outside. Some units are equipped with a fresh air function, which should not be used when there is a lot of pollution in the air.
Additionally, your air conditioning can actually improve your indoor air quality—so it’s a win-win! You stay cool inside, with healthy air to breathe.
Set Your Unit to “Recirculate” or “On”
Your heating and cooling system should have a “recirculate” or “on” option that will continuously run the system’s fan even when it’s not heating or cooling. This will help circulate the air in your home through your air filter, which can significantly improve the air quality in your home.
Check Your HVAC Filter
If your air filter is dirty or clogged with dust and debris, it will be more difficult for your system to run properly and as a result, it will decrease your indoor air quality. Your air filter should be regularly inspected and replaced to ensure your unit stays in proper working condition for as long as possible.
If you live in an area affected by wildfire smoke, you should replace or clean your filter even more often during wildfire season. When there is smoke and ash in the air, filters can become clogged faster than usual.
Have Wyckoff Perform Regular Maintenance on Your HVAC Unit
An HVAC unit that is properly cleaned and maintained by Wyckoff is one of the easiest ways you can help protect your home’s air quality from outdoor air pollution. Call to schedule your maintenance services today so you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing the air in your home is safe and healthy!