How can I keep wildfire smoke out of my home?

Actuallly, it is pretty easy if your home is energy efficient.

You can keep wildfire smoke from entering your home by increasing the air pressure in your breathing zone

Smoke moves away from higher pressure and moves in the direction of lower air pressure. If you keep  your home pressurized, wildfire smoke will not enter

If this is done properly, you will not even smell smoke inside your home no matter how dense the smoke may be out of doors. 

WildFire Smoke enters homes that are depressurized by exhaust fans or accidental defects. In California and elsewhere, ventilation is commonly provided by exhaust systems. Exhaust systems always suck wildfire smoke into a home’s breathing zone through leaks in the homes exterior / interior pressure envelopes. Exhaust ventilation should almost never be used during wildfire smoke conditions.

How can I keep my home pressurized to keep wildfire smoke out?

  1. Install a well-proven SmartVentilation Lotus, Daisy Ductless or Red Zephyr fresh air delivery / filtration system to deliver precisly corrrect amounts of air through a filter that will remove wildfire smoke and harmful micro particulate
  2. Try to close off / seal air leaks where air may move in or out of your home. This may be called “tightening” or “weatherizing” and it is often performed to make a home more energy efficient.You may use a caulking gun and canned expanding foam.
    1. When this is done on the exterior surface of the home it is called “sealing / tightening the exterior pressure envelope.”
    2. When it is performed on the inside surface of the home it is called “sealing the interior pressure envelope.”
    3. For the best result, both should be sealed.
  3. Ensure that the SmartVentilation air pressurization / filtration system supplies a correct (automatically or manually adjustable) amount of smoke-free fresh air from the out of doors during changing outdoor weather conditions
  4. Install a well-sealed filter element rated at MERV 14-15 or higher to remove smoke and harmful micro particulate particles from the fresh air you add
  5. Adjust the airflow rate of this clean, filtered air to increase the indoor breathing zone air pressure just enough to block wildfire smoke entry. from the out of doors.
  6. So long as all air entering the breathing zone passes through this filter, and so long as correct pressurization is maintained, the indoor air will become and remain clean and healthy. NO SMOKE, NO SMOKEY ODORS

24/7 Wildfire Smoke Blocker Operation Even During PG&E Power Shutdowns (Optional)

Use solar energy/battery to operate the smoke blocker system, even during power outages. Additionally, the solar energy/battery can also be designed to operate any or all refrigerators, small window or mini split air conditioners, chargers, LEDs, TVs etc, during power outages. The solar energy/battery will lower your electric bill. and will instantly provide continuous power for your refrigerator etc if there is a power outage.

WildFire Smoke Blocking Performance Enhancement Tips:

  1. Turn off all exhaust fans except for short periods when needed
  2. Keep all exterior doors and windows closed
  3. Seal any and all openings in the indoor pressure envelope (drywall, plaster, wood panel) Also the outdoor Exterior/Pressure Envelope
  4. If you  have a ducted HVAC system, look for and fix duct and boot leaks 
  5. Carefully adjust fresh air fan speed to achieve a slight positive pressure inside the home with respect to the out of doors. Two to six pascals positive pressure may be enough except during windy periods. 
  6. Use a sensitive and accurate micro-pressure device to guide your pressurization adjustment with precision. An extremely sensitive and accurate instrument may be obtained from Health and Energy in Omaha Nebraska.
  7. Install a MERV 14 or better filter to remove smoke particles from the fresh air before it is delivered into your home
  8. Use an indoor air cleaner to remove remaining indoor particulate that may have made it into the breathing zone when a door was opened for entry causing essential pressurization to be lost for a moment
  9. Experience reveals that success may be achieved with far less airflow than is specified and required in the ventilation codes, especially if the building is carefully  “tightened up” to make it more energy efficient

Advanced WildFire Smoke-blocking performance enhancement tips

  1. Install barometric dampers on all exhaust ducts / vents. The dampers can be pre-set not to open until breathing zone air pressure reaches a preset point of perhaps 8-10 pascals. Such dampers will make it easier for the pressurization system to maintain indoor pressure of less than the 8-10 pascals but will allow almost free flow of air when the exhaust system is activated. For ease of installation, these barometric dampers may be installed where the exhausts exit the building.
  2. Install a SmartVentilation barometric clothes dryer exhaust damper which will not open at pressures less than 20 pascals, but will allow full airflow at normal clothes dryer exhaust pressures. Note that it is important that a clothes dryer exhaust damper must be highly resistant to loading by lint. 
  3. Not only will these barometric dampers aidin maintaining correct pressurization, they will block entry of smoke during high winds.