We just got through one of Alberta's worst summers in terms of smoke and poor air quality. How do we get ready for next year?
Wildfires will alter the face of Canada's housing market: The number of available properties has been reduced by thousands, according to real estate agents. We were fortunate in Alberta this summer not to have too many wildfires near to urban areas, but other provinces were not so fortunate.
When wildfires raged throughout British Columbia, people in the path of the flames were showered with powdered debris, while people living kilometres distant inhaled air polluted with dangerous chemicals and microscopic particles from burnt building materials and plants.
Here are some more steps you can do to protect your home against smoke, eliminate odours from interior air and furnishings, and quickly make your yard more fire resistant.
Ensure your home is Weatherized
The federal government recommends home weatherization to reduce the amount of energy required for heating and cooling. While weatherization is being completed, steps should be taken to limit pollutants within the home.
Furthermore, householders should be aware of signs of inadequate ventilation, such as stuffy air, moisture condensation on cold surfaces, or mould and mildew growth. Additional weatherization measures should not be put in place until these concerns are rectified.
Storm windows, weather stripping, caulking, and blown-in wall insulation, on the other hand, can reduce the amount of exterior air that enters a property.
It's the end of August, and Calgary HVAC Companies are finally open for business. Is it time to maintain your home?
On a daily basis, inspect your heating filters. You will need to change or clean them more regularly due to the level of wildfire smoke. According to Consumer Reports, once a filter is full, it no longer captures particles. Make sure you have the appropriate size filter to capture particles.
Make backup filters. Health specialists and others advocate only HEPA filters, which force air through a small mesh and catch particles in central heating, ventilation, cooling, and air systems. If you have a central HVAC system, the setting the fan to different modes to see what works best for your home: I.e. cycling the fan on clear days, and keeping it on a much lower setting on smokier days.
HVAC systems do not bring in outside air. Air purifiers that can clean the air in an area at least four times per hour are suitable for allergy and asthma patients. Turn off your fresh air system until the smoke has passed since it will bring in filthy air from outside. Once the smoke has gone, turn it back on.
An Air Purifier is a fantastic idea, but it is essential to select one that is appropriate for the space. When deciding on the right size air purifier for your requirements, take into account the square footage of the room you want to clean.
A General guideline for sizing and space:
- Small: These air purifiers are designed for personal usage or spaces up to 300 square feet in size.
- Medium: Look for an air purifier for rooms that are 300 to 700 square feet in size.
- Large: For use in rooms ranging up to 2000 Sqft, or more.
There is no air cleaner or filter that can eliminate all air pollutants. According to the EPA, air purifiers with HEPA filters may reduce particle concentrations by up to 85%.
According to Consumer Reports, an air purifier with a carbon filter that absorbs odours is required to remove the odour of smoking. Both types of filters may be found in a variety of units.
We recommend selecting a portable air cleaner with a clean air delivery rate (CADR) greater than 300 cubic feet per minute for densely crowded regions or a bedroom for someone with asthma.
If the air in your room is stagnant, you run the danger of just cleaning the air in a small area around your purifier. The optimum configuration is a purifier with an integrated air projection system that pushes clean air into all corners of the room while cycling dirty air back into the unit for purification.