How Wildfires Contribute to Air Quality Concerns Near and Far
The western U.S. wildfires are raging – they’ve increased by 400% since 1970, burned six times the acreage, and lasted five times longer. If that’s not enough, their fierce temperatures have consumed all vegetation and soil nutrients, causing drought in the affected areas. Unfortunately, in the event of a wildfire, air quality in homes can suffer quite drastically due to the significant air pollution that is being produced, which is detrimental to your health and the environment around you.
How Do Wildfires Affect Air Quality?
Wildfire smoke contains carbon dioxide, gaseous chemicals, and a complex mix of particulate matter suspended in the air. The composition can vary depending on the burning materials, the intensity of the fire, and the weather conditions.
If you live in close proximity to a wildfire, you’re at risk of breathing in the dangerous gaseous chemicals emitted from the fire, including carbon dioxide, methane, formaldehyde, and acetic acid.
What’s more, the larger particles from the smoke can irritate your nose, eyes, and lungs, making it very difficult to do the most basic things. The very fine particles – which are sometimes as tiny as a fraction of a human hair – can be inhaled into the lungs and even make it into your bloodstream, hurting your cardiovascular health. This affects even those people who live far from the wildfire.
If your area is affected by wildfire smoke, Air Now offers real-time air quality updates to help you know how polluted the air in your area is.
Improving Your Indoor Air Quality During a Wildfire
While you can do very little to control the air quality outside, you have a great deal of control over your indoor air quality. Here are some practical tips for cleaning and purifying the air inside your home or office:
1. Keep Your Windows and Doors Closed
Keeping the windows and doors shut reduces your contact with the contaminated air. While inside, reduce physical activities such as workouts to minimize your air intake. Additionally, avoid activities that may further contaminate the air, such as smoking, burning candles, using wood-burning stoves, and spraying aerosols.
2. Properly Adjust Your HVAC System
Besides the basic heating-cooling settings, your HVAC fan setting can have significant implications to your indoor air quality. Most systems have two fan settings – Auto and On. “Auto” is usually the default fan setting, which lets your indoor air stay stagnant when the AC is in cooling mode.
For the best indoor air quality, adjust the fan setting to “On.” This means that the fan blows continuously, circulating and filtering the air regardless of whether the AC is in cooling mode.
3. Install Ray-Air
The patented air movement technology by Ray-Air increases air circulation in your home or office, eliminating toxic substances and unwanted moisture. With cleaner air, your HVAC system works more efficiently, saving you a lot of money on utility bills.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality with Ray Air
Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Ensure your home or commercial space is adequately equipped for the next wildfire air quality disaster. Installing Ray-Air is not only an excellent way of improving your indoor air quality, but it also saves you money in terms of energy bills and health costs.
Order your Ray-Air today or call us at 844-GO-FAN-ME for inquiries.