Wildfire Smoke and Your Home
Yesterday's Colby Fire burned very close to where our corporate office is located, in Azusa, California. At this writing, it is 30% contained and we are still thinking about our neighbors and their homes, as well as about our air quality. In fact, officials have declared Unhealthy air quality for sensitive people due to wildfire smoke. They recommend that people stay inside and run their air conditioners if at all possible, if you are in the smoke affected area.
The Alliance Environmental Group of Companies offers more than pest control, asbestos and mold removal and lead paint abatement services--we also offer services which improve your indoor air quality, including duct and vent cleaning and decontamination through our AirTek division. Here are our tips for preventing damage to your indoor environment from wildfire smoke:
If you have central air, you can seal the fresh air intake duct until the smoke clears. Your air conditioning system will still work and this will prevent smoke and particles from coming in through this duct.
If there is falling ash where you are, inspect your outdoor air conditioning unit to ensure that the condenser coils are not becoming coated or plugged with ash. Smoke residue and ash can accumulate on these coils. If they have become plugged or coated, you should have them cleaned as soon as possible. It is safe to turn off the breaker that runs to the unit and hose off the coils right away. Have your system cleaned when the danger has passed.
Do not run fans that pull in air from outside, like those in the bathroom.
Cover attic vents which let outside air in with plastic.
If you live in a wildfire-prone area, like we do, take precautions. Change your air filters often. Keep your ducts and vents clean. Stick to a maintenance schedule so that you are ready when a bad situation arises. And always follow the directions of safety professionals in a fire zone. Stay inside if they say to and evacuate if necessary. If you need help preventing wildfire smoke damage or recovering after a wildfire, contact us at Alliance and our highly-trained, professional team will assist you in whatever way you need.
Stay safe, Californians!