Experiencing summer days filled with smoke is becoming a regular occurrence, as British Columbia’s “fire season” returns year after year, creating air quality impacts for Vancouver and other cities across the province.
Sadly, this year is no different with Environment and Climate Change Canada issuing a series of air quality alerts for our coastal region, leading to smoky skies and most people remaining inside and away from the poor air quality.
At Ashton Plumbing, Heating, Air, we want to provide timely advice and added safety precautions to help improve the air quality in your home during these times. Although we have no control over the wildfires across the region, we do want to help you avoid as much resulting toxic fall-out indoors as possible.
There are a few simple actions you can take right away to help purify the air inside your home for you and your family. Read our tips below, and together, we can be proactive about improving your indoor air quality and limiting your family’s exposure to smoke and impurities:
- Keep your windows closed. The easiest and one of the most effective things you can do. In extreme cases and for added precaution where air quality is extremely bad, leave a damp towel under any doors or windows where polluted air may leak in.
- Know how to change the settings on your HVAC system or air conditioner. This way, you close off any outside air circulation and keep the smoke out. It is also important to change your air filters – changing them in advance before fire season starts would be the most ideal. Filters keep out pollutants and allergens from your home, such as dust, pollen, spores and other airborne problems. A dirty filter will limit the airflow circulating through your home, which will make your system work harder and increase your energy bills.
- Check your air ducts. Air ducts are the lifeline of keeping your home comfortable with clean, fresh air as they deliver hot and cold air throughout each room. However, if they are not maintained and checked over regularly, they could be distributing pollutants and other contaminants through your home instead. After a while dust, dander and mold can accumulate diminishing the overall air quality. It’s best to hire a professional to ensure that your air ducts are clean, installed properly and maintained well.
- Keep humidity low. You’ll want to control the moisture in your home for clean air, as too much moisture can cause mold, mildew and bacteria to grow. Moisture and added humidity can be caused by steam and water-damaged areas. The most simple and efficient way to circumvent this is by using the bathroom fan when showering and the kitchen fan when cooking. Investing in a dehumidifier also helps, especially if you live in a humid climate already.
- Limit adding further toxins to your indoor air supply. Most people don’t realize that a lot of indoor air pollution is caused by the items you use and the things you do in your home. Stay away from smoking indoors, turning on your fireplace, using gas or wood-burning stoves, lighting any candles or incense, spraying aerosol products, vacuuming, etc.
If you have any questions regarding your HVAC system and how to most effectively use it during this fire season, we can help at Ashton Service Group. We are your local Vancouver and area professionals, call us today and let’s chat about improving your air purity indoors!