Can Air Conditioners Filter Smoke?

Learn how air conditioners can filter wildfire smoke from inside your home with high grade filters and regular replacements.

Can Air Conditioners Filter Smoke?

It is true that air conditioners can filter wildfire smoke from inside your home, if you use the right type of filters and replace them regularly. All air conditioners use a filter to prevent dust and other particles from entering the system and damaging it. Therefore, if you use this system when there is wildfire smoke outside, you can remove some of the particles that may have traveled inside your home. The best type of air conditioners for filtering wildfire smoke are those with a high Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating, generally greater than ten. The higher the number, the better the filter for removing contaminants.

Filters also range in thickness from one to five inches. It is important to change the filter more often during wildfire season, as they can get dirty faster than usual. If portable air purifiers are not available or affordable, CARB suggests making a temporary air purifier for the interior of your home by using a box fan, a filter with a MERV rating of 13 or higher, and adhesive tape. This process will cycle continuously and filter out bad elements and odors in a room. If your current air conditioning system isn't one of the best options for filtering wildfire smoke, Ingram's Water & Air home cooling experts can help. We offer a wide range of HVAC options to provide the right choice for any homeowner.

Wildfire season is inevitable unless you plan to move, so it is important to prepare properly before the season starts. Additional information on portable air filters and HVAC filters can be found in the indoor air filtration fact sheet and the EPA Home Air Filter Guide. If you want to ensure that your air filtration works at peak efficiency, get the highest level of filters possible.

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