Can Air Conditioners Filter Smoke?

Can an air conditioner filter wildfire smoke? Yes! Learn how Ingram Water & Air's HVAC systems help improve indoor air quality during wildfire season.

Can Air Conditioners Filter Smoke?

It is a common question among homeowners in areas prone to wildfires: can air conditioners filter smoke? The answer is yes, air conditioners can filter wildfire smoke from inside your home, if you use sufficiently high grade filters and replace them frequently. 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. As you can see, some types of air conditioners filter wildfire smoke effectively, while others don't.

If your current air conditioning system isn't one of the best options, the home cooling experts at Ingram Water & Air 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.As is the case every year, the effects can be devastating. Some homes and businesses burn to the ground, but perhaps most importantly, it can lead to unhealthy air conditions across the country.

Local officials can advise people to stay indoors, but even if you do, some of the smoke from outside can get in and make your space unhealthy. With no apparent solution, the question arises: “Do air conditioners filter wildfire smoke?”The short answer to the question is yes. If the area you live in is prone to wildfires, you can prepare properly before the season starts. One of the routes you can take is to purchase a high-quality portable air filter or air conditioning filter.

If you choose to go for the latter, make sure the HVAC filter has 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. Try to change the filter more often during wildfire season, as they can get dirty faster than usual.You might think that if you use your air conditioner during fire season, smoke and ash particles would move inside your home.

With a window air conditioner in place, you would need to determine its proximity to the outside air damper. Air quality monitors measure and detect various types of pollutants in the air and can inform you of toxicity levels so that you can take appropriate measures to remedy them. If you use portable air conditioners, the number of hoses will determine if they are safe to use in smoky conditions. Air purifiers are the only device officially designed to remove smoke particles from the air around you.To ensure that your system maintains as much smoked air as possible, make sure to change the filter at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer.

You may decide to purchase a portable air cleaner or a high-efficiency HVAC system filter as part of your preparation to help improve indoor air quality during a wildfire smoke event. There is “limited data” available on how well DIY air filters filter smoke particles, and the EPA does not recommend their routine use as a “permanent alternative” to other products.It's an especially good choice for those who don't work constantly with their air conditioning systems or who don't have a built-in air conditioning system. You may be tempted to open windows and let air filter through your home, but this is a quick way to reduce indoor air quality. Recirculated air introduced into an indoor environment from the air conditioner presents a level of danger to the air in a home, as it can filter particles and other contaminants from wildfire smoke that can cause hazardous effects to human health.Depending on the air conditioning unit and the settings you have on this device, it may affect the risks of wildfire smoke entering your home.

As long as you keep your filters clean, it should help reduce the amount of smoke particles in the air, but it's really no match for a dedicated air purifier. If you decide to purchase a high-efficiency HVAC filter to increase filtration, choose one with a MERV 13 rating, or a rating as high as the system fan and filter slot can accommodate. In conclusion, yes - air conditioners can filter wildfire smoke from inside your home if used with sufficiently high grade filters and replaced frequently enough. Portable air cleaners and high-efficiency HVAC system filters are great options for improving indoor air quality during wildfire season.

Make sure that your air conditioning unit is set up properly and that filters are changed regularly for maximum efficiency.

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