We just survived one of the worst summers for smoke and poor air quality. How do we prepare for next year?

We just survived one of the worst summers for smoke and poor air quality. How do we prepare for next year?

We just survived one of Calgary's worst summers for smoke and poor air quality. How do we prepare our homes for next year?

Last week we considered some quick ideas to improve your quality of life during the smoky season, but today it’s time to talk about more options you can take as we prepare our homes for similar conditions in the foreseeable future.

When wildfires raged throughout British Columbia, individuals in the path of the flames were showered with powdery debris, and even those living kilometres away were inhaling air contaminated with hazardous chemicals and tiny particles from burned building materials and plants.

Here's what else you can do to seal your house against smoke, remove odours from indoor air and furniture, and rapidly make your yard more fire resistant. The landscape of Canada's housing market will be altered by wildfires: According to real estate brokers, the quantity of available properties has been cut by thousands. We were fortunate this summer in Alberta not to have too much wildfire close to urban centers, but other provinces weren’t so lucky.

Man spraying insulated product in attic

Home Weatherization - Reduce the amount of air that enters your home.

Weatherization of houses is recommended by the federal government in order to minimise the amount of energy used for heating and cooling. While weatherization is taking place, actions should also be made to reduce pollutants from within the home. 

Furthermore, homeowners should be on the lookout for symptoms of poor ventilation, such as stuffy air, moisture condensation on cold surfaces, or mould and mildew growth. Additional weatherization measures should not be implemented until these issues have been resolved.

Installing storm windows, weather stripping, caulking, and blown-in wall insulation, on the other hand, can limit the quantity of external air penetrating a home.

illustration of home air ventilation

It’s the end of August, and Calgary HVAC Companies are Finally Available for Booking. Is your Home due for Maintenance?

Check your heating filters on a daily basis. Because of the volume of wildfire smoke, you will need to change or clean them more frequently. Consumer Reports discovered that once a filter is full, it no longer catches particles. To ensure that particles are collected, make sure you have the correct size filter.

If you have a fresh air system, turn it off until the smoke has cleared since it will bring in unclean air from outside. Turn it back on once the smoke has cleared.

Prepare backup filters. Only HEPA filters, which push air through a tiny mesh and capture particles in central heating, ventilation, cooling, and air systems, are recommended by health professionals and others. Set the fan to ‘on’ rather than ‘auto’ if you have a central HVAC system to ensure the fan is always circulating and filtering air. HVAC systems do not bring in air from the outside.

sliding a new filter into an hvac unit

An Air Purifier is a good idea, but it’s important to choose something that fits the space.

Consider the square footage of the space you wish to cleanse when selecting the correct size air purifier for your needs.

If you have allergies or asthma and are searching for an air purifier to assist control your symptoms, you should also examine the air change per hour (ACH) rate of the air purifier. The number of times an air purifier can filter the whole volume of air in the treatment space each hour is referred to as ACH.

For allergy and asthma patients, air purifiers that can clean the air in an area at least four times per hour are ideal. A pace of four air changes per hour guarantees that the air purifier completely cleans the air and filters out as many tiny symptom-triggering allergens as possible, allowing you to breathe easily.

Size Recommendations

Small: These air purifiers are intended for personal use or rooms of up to 300 square feet.

Medium: Look for an air purifier for rooms ranging from 300 to 700 square feet.

Large: Units specified for up to and over 2000 square feet are often inbuilt or part of an AC unit.

For heavily populated areas or a bedroom for someone with asthma, we recommend purchasing a portable air cleaner with a clean air delivery rate (CADR) greater than 300 cubic feet per minute.

If the air in your room is stagnant, you risk just cleaning the air in a limited part of the space near your purifier. A purifier with an integrated air projection system that pushes clean air into all corners of the room while cycling bad air back into the machine for purification is the ideal setup.


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