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Tips To Stay Healthy And Safe During Wildfire Season

June 20, 2023

You might be making plenty of plans for this summer, such as going to the beach, taking a trip, or organizing a barbeque. However, you may not have a plan for what happens if a wildfire strikes in Los Angeles or surrounding areas, and you and your loved ones may panic during a real emergency.

Your heating and air conditioning system distributes and circulates the air you will breathe in your home, so it is important to ensure the entire system is prepared for the poor air quality wildfires can bring. In this article we list HVAC and safety tips to help prepare you and other residents for a wildfire.

7 Ways To Prepare For Wildfire Season

While many California residents love spending time outside during the hotter months, it’s vital to note that summer is also wildfire season. Summer can create hot and dry conditions that lead to dangerous and fast-spreading wildfires. At Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning, we recommend taking the following measures to stay healthy and safe during wildfire season:

  • Use Top-Quality Air Filters
  • Install An Air Cleaner
  • Close Doors And Windows
  • Seal Any Air Leaks
  • Keep Your Home Clean
  • Schedule AC Maintenance
  • Create A Wildfire Emergency Plan

Use Top-Quality Air Filters

Air filters are responsible for keeping out harmful pollutants, such as smoke, dirt, and dust, from entering your home. It is important to ensure you are using a quality air filter to ensure your home has good indoor air quality, especially during the chance of a wildfire.

Air filters with a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) do a better job of preventing small and large contaminants from polluting the air you breathe. Lower-quality filters will take out some pollutants, but not all, which is especially critical when a lot of smoke is in the air. We recommend keeping extra filters on hand during wildfire season to be prepared when you need to replace them. You should replace them more often during this time and monitor them as they clog.

If you are unsure of how to pick the right air filter for your home in Los Angeles, our professionals are here to help! We can help find the perfect air filter for your home to keep you breathing easy and your air conditioner running efficiently.

Install An Air Cleaner

As we have mentioned, it is important to protect your home’s air quality during wildfire season, Breathing in harmful pollutants can cause a wide variety of poor health effects. According to researchers with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, wildfire smoke is up to 10 times more harmful to humans than other types of pollution.

An effective way to improve indoor air quality is by installing an electronic air cleaner. Air cleaners or purifiers help keep you healthy and safe during wildfire season by cleaning the air inside your home. The device combines an internal filter and fan to pull pollutants from the air. Clean air is then distributed back into a room, and then the process is repeated. Air cleaners are excellent at removing contaminants that filters might miss. Running one automatically or on a low setting will create a healthier indoor environment.

Close Doors And Windows

While some homeowners enjoy a summer breeze, it is important to keep doors and windows shut during a wildfire in your area. Open windows and doors are access points for smoke and unclean air to get into your home. Opening windows and doors temporarily might end up worsening the conditions of people with allergies or people in your home with respiratory conditions.

Doors and windows act as good barriers, leaving smoke and pollution outside. You can stay cool and comfortable inside with an efficient air conditioner and high-quality fans. If you are in need of AC repair in Los Angeles or surrounding areas, our technicians are ready to help!

Seal Any Air Leaks

Leaks or cracks allow smoke to enter your property, so sealing them ahead of time is a great step to take. Check your doors and windows for any leaking areas to keep your indoor air clean and safe. If you have old windows that need repairs or cause you to have high HVAC bills, you might be at risk of poor indoor air quality. A simple and cost effective way to seal air leaks is by caulking or weather stripping. When fires and smoke occur in your area, the last thing you want is to stay inside in polluted and unhealthy conditions.

Keep Your Home Clean

Cleaning your home frequently during wildfire season is vital. Smoke, dust, dirt, and debris can enter your home and create unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Mopping, wiping down surfaces, and changing linens periodically are good ways to keep the contaminants from settling in your home. You should also wash your clothes after you’ve been outside and take a bath or shower in the evening to wash away smoke and dirt particles.

Schedule AC Maintenance

Your air conditioning system works to provide cool, clean air to each room in your home. It is important your AC unit is working properly and efficiently throughout the summer, especially in the event of a wildfire. Your air conditioning system should be the last thing on your mind during an emergency such as a wildfire, which is why it is beneficial to plan ahead.

Brody Pennell offers preventative AC maintenance in Los Angeles, CA and surrounding areas to help keep air conditioners running efficiently and effectively. AC maintenance ensures each component within your AC system is working properly and helps avoid uncomfortable breakdowns and repairs.

Create A Wildfire Emergency Plan

While we hope you will never experience a wildfire, it’s good to have the right preparations in place should the situation arise. Craft a plan with your family and review it so everyone knows what to do in case of a wildfire. Designate a location for everyone to meet and paths to remove yourself from your property. The following are some key things to add to your wildfire emergency plan:

  • Giving everyone in your home a list of emergency phone numbers and contacts.
  • Keeping essential documents with financial and personal information in a secure yet accessible location.
  • Looking for signs that wildfire smoke has affected your pet and bringing them to the vet if they show symptoms.
  • Activating alerts for wildfire information on your phones and staying informed about updates.

Regarding the best way to get your pets and other animals out of harm’s way, consider a trusted friend or family member outside the home your pet can stay with if a wildfire occurs. Keeping a bag containing emergency supplies of water, food, and batteries is also helpful for everyone.

Is Your HVAC System And Home Prepared for Wildfire Season?

As summer rolls around, staying healthy and safe during wildfire season is essential. Taking some simple steps now could help your situation tremendously should you and your family experience a wildfire during the summer. Our trusted team will ensure you have the best indoor air quality system and clean, healthy indoor air with our professional services and recommendations.

At Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning, we hope you have a fun, healthy, and safe summer. If you are in need of AC repair in Los Angeles, CA, give our certified team a call at (424) 252-1251 to keep you cool and comfortable.

About The Author

Brody Pennell

Since 1945, Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning is the committed to helping homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area experience total home comfort. In 2021, the readers of the Los Angeles Times voted Brody Pennell the Best HVAC Company in the area.

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