Natural disasters like wildfires can have a big effect on indoor and outdoor air quality. Here’s what to do if going outside isn’t a good option.
If your home or city has been affected by a natural disaster, you know firsthand how stressful it can be. Even if your home isn’t damaged, events like wildfires can make it difficult to run errands and go outside. If the outdoor air quality in your area is preventing you from doing your day-to-day activities, use this guide to help keep the air in your house cleaner.
If you’re dealing with a wildfire, do some research on your city’s recommendations for evacuation and at-home safety. Action plans will vary by location, so make sure you’re following guidance from your city. Wildfire smoke can affect areas thousands of miles away from where the fire is burning, so even if you’re not in a dangerous area, keep an eye on the air quality outside.1
Before you venture out to buy any supplies, you can take preventative steps that will help in the meantime. Make sure all windows and doors are shut and properly sealed and avoid activities that could add to indoor air pollution—lighting candles, frying food on the stove, using fireplaces and vacuuming can all put unwanted particles into your air.2
Instead of going out to get supplies, order things like Filtrete™ Filters or air purifiers, fans and face coverings online and have them delivered. You can use the Filtrete™ Smart App to monitor the life of your filters and order new ones directly from it, so keeping up with replacements is doable without leaving your house. If you don’t have an HVAC system, an air purifier can help keep air in individual rooms cleaner, too.
AirNow recommends choosing a room with few or no windows and using it as a dedicated clean air space. Run an air purifier or use a fan to keep the air circulating.2
The Filtrete™ Smart App can tell you what the outdoor air quality is in your area. It’s rated on a scale of good (0-50) to hazardous (300 or above). If you have to go out in smoky conditions, wear a face covering. 3 Avoid strenuous outdoor activities like running or hiking. If you need to drive somewhere, keep the windows closed and run the air conditioner in recirculate mode. When walking pets, keep walks short and wear a face covering.