Wildfires make Breathing Dangerous to your Health. Wildfire Smoke is Loaded with PM2.5 Particles.
Keep Smoke Out of Your Home and Out of Your Lungs
HOW? Increase the air pressure in your home’s the breathing zone. Higher pressure inside will keep smoke outside. But you must use very clean air to create the pressurization.
How can I do that?
- Simply use MERV 14-16 or HEPA filters to clean the ventilation air before it comes into your home. Use this very clean filtered air to increase the air pressure inside your home’s breathing zone with respect to the out of doors. This is called clean air building pressurization, and it is very commonly recommended by building scientists and air quality experts. Pressurization with filtered air will block outdoor air and water vapor from entering into a building’s breathing zone and structure through “defects” or unintentional openings in a buildings exterior “pressure envelope/pressure barrier.”
- So instead of smoky outdoor air entering into the home through cracks and crevices in the exterior pressure envelope/barrier, pressurized indoor air pushes out against the outdoor smoke preventing it from entering the breathing zone through those openings. Pressurization works.
- BUT California and some other states commonly use “exhaust” ventilation, meaning that the ventilation system sucks indoor air out of the breathing zone. This suction also sucks outdoor, smoky and dirty air into the home through cracks and openings and other construction defects to replace the clean air sucked out.
- In California, the assumption is that the building’s structure, cracks and crevices will operate like “filters” to remove the smoke from the outdoor smoky air. And it works to some extent. And it even causes some harmful ozone to break down.
- So if a California “ventilation system” is rated at 100 cubic feet per minute, you an expect about 100 cubic feet per minute of smoky outdoor air to show up in your breathing zone and lungs with filtration provided only by whatever might be in those cracks and crevices.
- So, if you live in California, and you don’t want smoke in your lungs and in your home, you should turn off your ventilation system when outdoor air is smoky and not suitable for breathing.
- To keep smoke out, a pressurization/ventilation system can deliver the correct amount of outdoor air, but clean it BEFORE it enters your home and breathing zone. You can deliver CLEANED outdoor air into your home through an effective, variable speed ventilation/filtration system. A MERV 14-15 filter will clean your breathing zone air much better than passing it through cracks and crevices (building construction defects.). A HEPA filter will remove an incredible 99.97% of outdoor particles. With either a MERV 14-15 filter or a HEPA filter, outdoor smoke can be very heavy, and if your home is pressurized with MERV 14 or HEPA filtered air, you will not even smell the smoke so long as you keep doors and windows closed.
- Use smart controls to automate the fresh air delivery system so that indoor air is automatically delivered in the proper amount, clean and without smoke, PM2.5, pollen, mold spores, agricultural chemical aerosols, viruses, bacteria, soot. and other toxic particles.
- CONCLUSION? Folks in homes that have ventilation provided by exhaust fans should switch from the exhaust ventilation system that is likely installed in your home and install a pressurization, smart ventilation system with a MERV 14 or better filter. It is easy, quick and affordable.