Clearing the air

Posted: August 22, 2023 at 8:19 am

Using a furnace filter and box fan to combat wildfire smoke indoors

We all know how important clean air is for our well-being, especially when it comes to the air we breathe inside our homes. Unfortunately, during wildfire season, the smoke in the air can sometimes find its way indoors, causing discomfort and potential health concerns. But don’t worry, because we’re here with a small, simple solution that can make a big difference – using a furnace filter and a box fan!

Understanding the Challenge of Wildfire Smoke:

Before we jump into the solution, let’s quickly understand why wildfire smoke can be an issue for indoor air quality. When wildfires occur, they release fine particles and pollutants into the air, known as PM 2.5. These tiny particles can be harmful when inhaled, leading to respiratory problems, eye irritation, and discomfort. Since our homes aren’t airtight, some of this smoke can infiltrate our living spaces, affecting the air we breathe indoors.

Enter the dynamic duo: Furnace filter and box fan:

Combining a furnace filter and box fan can create a simple and effective air filtration system right in your home, helping to reduce the impact of wildfire smoke on indoor air quality.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Choose the right furnace filter: Look for a high-efficiency furnace filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 11 or higher. This type of filter is designed to trap tiny particles, including those from wildfire smoke, offering better filtration than ordinary filters.
  2. Secure the furnace filter: Place the furnace filter over the inlet side of a box fan. Make sure it fits securely and covers the entire surface of the fan, so the air passes through the filter before being blown into the room.
  3. Positioning and operation for unairconditioned spaces: Set up the box fan near a window or a doorway where the outdoor air infiltrates your home. Make sure the fan is facing outward, so it draws in the smoky air from the outside. When the fan blows the filtered air back into the room, it helps to reduce the concentration of smoke particles indoors.
  4. Positioning and operation for unairconditioned spaces: Create a clean-air sanctuary in one room by sealing any gaps around windows and doors and running the box fan setup mentioned above.

Other Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality:

While the furnace filter and box fan combo can do wonders for clearing up wildfire smoke, here are a few additional tips to further enhance your indoor air quality:

  • Keep windows and doors closed to minimize the entry of smoke-laden air.
  • Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to capture even more pollutants and improve air quality further.
  • Regularly clean and replace furnace filters to ensure their effectiveness.

When faced with the challenge of wildfire smoke compromising your indoor air quality, embrace the power of a furnace filter and box fan to create an inexpensive and efficient air filtration system right in your home. By blocking out those pesky particles, you’ll be breathing easier and enjoying fresher air during wildfire season. So, stay safe, confident, and take control of your indoor air quality – because together, we can tackle any challenge that comes our way!