Wildfire Season HVAC Tips
Wildfires have been rampant across the Pacific Northwest in recent years, including 2021. Even if you don’t live near a wildfire, the effects can be felt for hundreds of miles in the form of itchy, watery eyes, a persistent sore throat, headaches, and other symptoms.
Wildfire smoke is dangerous to breathe because it contains gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide. It also contain microscopic particles of dust and ash that can get deep into your lungs and even enter your bloodstream. This makes it especially dangerous for people with respiratory issues like asthma, COPD, and emphysema, or those recovering from the COVID-19 virus. To help you prepare for possible indoor air quality issues, follow our wildfire season HVAC tips below. You can also check air quality in your area using the AirNow.gov website.
Replace your air filter. It’s best to check your air filter every season, but particularly important at the start of summer or whenever air quality might be compromised. We suggest having a few filters on hand so you can quickly replace them when needed. Or call us to schedule maintenance on your AC unit, including checking and replacing your filter and cleaning dirty ducts.
Recirculate your air. In addition to keeping your home cool, you can also use your HVAC system to circulate your indoor air. To do this, run your central air conditioner, heat pump, or ductless heat pump as normal. Because these systems filter and re-circulate air already in the home, they don’t pull in additional particulates from outdoors.
Use your thermostat’s fan option. Even when you’re not using your HVAC system, you can still keep the “fan” or “recirculation” option on to run your indoor air through the filter and improve air quality. If your thermostat has an “auto/on” feature instead of “fan,” keep it in the on position so the fan will continually run even when not heating or cooling.
Schedule regular HVAC maintenance. To keep your AC unit running efficiently, and improve indoor air quality, we recommend an annual tune-up by one of our professional technicians. This service includes checking and cleaning the connections, air filter, coils, blower components, lines, refrigerant, drain, fuses, and the thermostat, as well as lubricating all working parts.
If you have questions about how to improve your indoor air quality, or any other AC topics, please contact us at 253-336-3777. We’re here to help you stay cool, safe, and comfortable.