As wildfires continue to wreak havoc across the United States, it’s imperative that we know how to protect ourselves and loved ones from lingering smoke. Wildfire smoke is a health hazard that not only impacts the air outdoors, but easily makes its way inside and worsens our indoor air quality. We’ve put together a list to help reduce your wildfire smoke exposure.
1. Stay Up to Date on Current Air Quality
Consistently check your local air quality reports! Listen and watch the news for health warnings about current smoke conditions. Do not depend on whether or not you can visibly see smoke as your gauge for air quality – smoke is not always visible to the naked eye. Smoke tends to not only travel fast, but to travel long distances. Use AirNow.gov daily to monitor accurate air quality in your area.
2. Use an Air Purifier to Improve Indoor Air Quality
If you are advised to stay indoors, it’s important to keep your indoor air as clean as possible. Running an air purifier removes smoke particles from the air you and your family is breathing. Only air purifiers with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) grade filters will be beneficial in trapping 99.97% of airborne contaminants, including smoke. Rest assured, all Winix air purifiers are equipped with True HEPA filters that are tested to remove 99.99%* of airborne contaminants down to 0.003 microns in size. These industry leading filters offer a tremendous advantage with the average size of wildfire smoke being 2.5 microns in size.
3. Prevent Smoke from Entering your Home
It’s important to keep your windows shut and reduce the number of times doors are opened to the outside of your home. Other ways to reduce smoke from entering your home is by installing weather stripping around windows, doors, or where you visibly see smoke entering the home. It’s also important to note when you seal air from entering your home, you’re also preventing indoor pollutants from leaving. This is where limiting the production of indoor pollutants (such as candles, smoking cigarettes, or cooking on a gas stove) and using an air purifier become crucial.
The safest way to protect yourself and family from wildfire smoke is to leave the area surrounding the wildfire. However, if that is not a possibility, please follow the helpful steps above to avoid the negative impacts of wildfire smoke while also reducing your exposure.
*Based on independent laboratory tests conducted on inanimate particles as small as 0.003 microns.