PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With several wildfires burning across Oregon, many communities in the state are dealing with the threat of smoke.
Energy Trust of Oregon has five tips on how to keep smoke out of your home and the air in your home safe.
Replace your air filter frequently:
Your filter may need to be replaced every six weeks during smoke events to maintain healthy indoor air quality and avoid extra energy use. Energy Trust recommends that you check your filter for dust and debris at least once a month during heavy use and more often during heavy smoke conditions.
Switch to “fan only” mode temporarily:
During wildfire season, using your HVAC system in “fan only” is recommended because it ensures the system is operating continuously to run your indoor air through the filter.
Tighten seals around windows, doors and window air conditioners:
Installing weatherstripping will help prevent smoke from drifting into your house, especially if your doors or windows are drafty.
Avoid creating more fine particles and air out your home after a smoke event:
This includes: smoking cigarettes, using gas, propane or wood-burning stoves and furnaces, spraying aerosol products, frying or broiling food, burning candles or incense and vacuuming. When air quality improves, you can air out your home by opening windows or the fresh air intake on your HVAC system.
Use a portable air cleaner or high-efficiency filter to remove fine particles from the air:
Energy Trust says to run it as often as possible on the highest fan speed.
For more information on indoor air quality during wildfires, check out resources from the Environmental Protection Agency.