What to Know About Using Your AC System During a Fire

November 28, 2018 7:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

This has been an unfortunately disastrous year for wildfires in California. While the Camp Fire has finally been completely contained, there are still homes burning in the state, and many more people who are in areas where air quality is extremely poor.

Whenever there’s a wildfire blazing in your area, it’s best to stay indoors as much as possible, especially if local advisories tell you to stay inside. If you do need to go outside, you should wear protective gear, including protective respirator masks, which are much more effective than simple paper masks. Avoid engaging in activities that will exacerbate air quality issues, such as burning candles, using your oven or vacuuming. You should also keep your windows and doors shut at all times—if the weather is warm, run your air conditioner rather than keeping windows open.

Of course, even using your air conditioning can cause some indoor air quality problems if you aren’t careful. After all, your HVAC system has a lot to do with the quality of the air inside your home, so it’s important that you make sure you’re setting it up for success. With this in mind, here are some tips from a company specializing in air conditioner maintenance in Fair Oaks, CA about how you can run your air conditioner when air quality is low due to fires in the area:

  • Change your air filters: Even though you’ve got your windows and doors closed, dust particles can still get into your home through roof vents or other gaps. By having a clean filter in your air conditioner and HVAC system at all times, you’ll be able to handle the higher level of particulate matter in the air. An air purifier that has a HEPA filter is one route you may choose to take. Other types of AC units have air quality ratings, which can keep you updated about the air quality in your home.
  • Keep bathroom fans and window units off: Bathroom fans, window box fans and window air conditioning units all pull air into your home from outdoors, so you should make sure you’re not running them if you have a fire advisory in your area. Otherwise, you risk bringing harmful particles and pollutants into your home.
  • Close the fresh air intake: Running your air conditioning can help circulate the air in your home through the filters in your HVAC system, which helps to purify the air—just another good reason to keep your filters clean. Some units have fresh air intakes, which typically help improve air quality because, in most cases, outdoor air will be fresher than indoor air. During fire advisories, however, this isn’t going to be the case, so if your unit has a fresh air intake, close the damper to prevent exterior air from coming into your home.

For more tips about running your air conditioning during a fire, or to schedule air conditioner maintenance in Fair Oaks, CA, contact the experts at Cassel Air Conditioning and Heating Service today.

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