Air-quality issues caused by wildfire smoke are becoming increasingly common. One of the best ways to stay safe and comfortable during smoke events is to protect the inside of your home from unhealthy air quality through weatherization.
Even if your home is well-sealed and ventilated, taking these extra steps will help keep the air clean when smoke is present.
- Replace or clean your filters more frequently during a smoke event. Temporarily replace your HVAC system’s filters with high-efficiency filters, and immediately replace them with standard filters after the smoke is gone.
- If you have an HVAC system, run the fan to continuously filter the air
- When possible, avoid activities that create more fine particles indoors, such as cooking, using chemical cleaners and sprays, smoking, and vacuuming – Do not turn on your range hood or bathroom exhaust fans
- Close the damper in your fireplace, then stretch a plastic bag across the front and seal it with blue painter’s tape
- Durning extreme conditions, place damp towels at the bottom of exterior doors and seal your mail slot
- Run a portable air purifier with a HEPA filter, if you have one, or tape a box fan to a high-efficiency furnace filter for a temporary solution
Visit Comfort Ready Home's page on Homeowners to learn more about weatherization and find a contractor near you.
DIY Weatherization Tips
- Inspect external doors and windows for air leaks – Use caulk and weatherstripping to seal any drafty spots
- Check for air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or wiring comes through walls or floors – Seal with caulk or spray foam.
- Replace the filter in your furnace regularly and clean the filters in your ductless heat pump
The EPA recommends using fans and air conditioning to stay cool. If this is not possible, seek shelter elsewhere.