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Follow These Smoke Blocking Steps to Keep Smoke Out of Your Home:
Try to make your breathing zone or just one or two rooms airtight.
- Walls, floors, ceilings: Seal alll openings and cracks with blue (removeable) masking tape, Caulk/seal. large openings with wood, plastic. canned expanding foam
- Install gaskets behind light switch and electric outlet covers (if you can find gaskets) You can tape over unused switches, outlets.
- Cover exhaust grilles with plastic and blue masking tape
- Do not use exhaust fans.
Bring Outdoor air into your home to increase air pressure inside the home.
- The quickest, easiest solution is to bore a hole/port about 6″ in diameter through an exterior wall and into the breathing zone area you wish to pressurize. A Honeywell HRF-11 or 14 may be mounted on the outide to filter the smokey air passing through it and into the breathing zone. A variable speed ducted fan with a capacity of 150+ cubic feet per minute and a draw of about 500-700 pascals shoul be sufficient for a somewhat sealed breathing xone of about 500 to 1000 square feet floor area.
- Filter all air entering your home through the smoke-removing filter.
- Use this highly filtered fresh air to pressurize your home to force (gently blow) indoor air THROUGH cracks and AWAY from the breathing zone instead of sucking it IN through cracks. The old California theory was that if you suck outdoor air in through cracks, the cracks would filter the smoke and pollutants out. Doesn’t work well, never did. A first class filter MERV 13 or better, filters out smoke far better than the cracks in your home.
- Use caulk or removeable blue masking tape to seal all cracks and apply weather stripping to all doors and windows.
- Once your home is sealed, supply ALL fresh air into the home through a filtered ventilation system using a filter of MERV 13 or better.
- Install a dedicated, variable speed fresh air fan to allow precise adjustments to pressurize your home sufficiently to push against smoke entry through cracks you could not find and seal..
- Disable all exhaust fans during smoke. GOOD IDEA: You may wish to block them off to prevent them from bleeding off the pressurization that you are seeking to create. BEST IDEA: You may prefer to install adjustable pre-load barometric dampers on exhaust duct outlets. (they will help to maintain pressurization but can be forced open by higher pressure exhaust fan operation when needed.)
- Make sure that the interior of the home is positively pressurized during periods of wildfire smoke, it may be necessary to adjust the speed of the fresh air ventilation air fan frequently. A micropressure controller can automatically and quickly (within 1-2 seconds) adjust fan speed as necessary to automatically maintain sufficient pressure regardless of most outdoor conditions, subject to ventilation system performance limitations. Changes in wind are much better handled by automatic, electronic fan speed / pressurization control. A REMARKABLY SIMPLE AND ACCURATE INDICATOR MAY BE AVAILABLE FROM HEALTH AND ENERGY, OMAHA NEBRASKA.
- Experience in SW Florida during everglades fires confirms the success of this approach using a MERV 14-15 filter to filter all air entering the home.. You will not even smell the smoke no matter how dense it may be outside. (so long as you keep all doors and windows closed.)
- DURING WILDFIRE SMOKE, DO NOT USE EXHAUST VENTILATION, EVER, EXCEPT AS SHORT RUN SPOT EXHAUSTS IN AREAS OF THE HOME WITH AIR POLLUTANT SOURCES. YOU CAN EXPECT SMOKE ENTRY ANY TIME YOU USE EXHAUST SYSTEMS.