Does an Air Conditioner Filter Smoke?

Learn how an AC unit can help reduce wildfire smoke in your home or business.

Does an Air Conditioner Filter Smoke?

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 at home, 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 is yes.

If you live in an area 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.An air conditioner works great for filtering particles such as ash, soot, and other debris from nearby fires, and to neutralize harmful gases, chemicals, and odors that make up smoke. However, it doesn't work like an air purifier. Although some may filter smoke a little, don't try to use them as air purifiers.

In addition, you should be responsible for using your air conditioner properly to prevent premature deterioration.If you choose to go for an air conditioning filter, make sure it 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.Air conditioners use air filters to remove contaminants from the air circulating in the home.

By operating the air conditioner, indoor air is circulated, heat is removed, and some particles are also filtered out of the air. If you want to ensure that your air filtration works at peak efficiency, get the highest level of filters possible. HEPA filters trap very small particles.Change air filters frequently to keep them working at peak performance. Don't forget to talk to your local HVAC technician for advice on how to prepare your air conditioner to filter wildfire smoke.

Many people install different air purifiers or use unique air fresheners to eliminate odor and smoke from the air. 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.Taken together, an air conditioner doesn't have to purify the air, as it's only designed to cool indoor air in a room, car, or office. The EPA does not recommend the routine use of DIY air purifiers as a permanent alternative to products of known performance (such as commercially available portable air purifiers). Air conditioners cannot filter cigarette smoke and the smoke will affect the life of the air conditioner filter.

Large commercial air conditioners and cooling towers installed in shelters, libraries or cinemas can better filter wildfire smoke.All you need is to keep your air conditioner filter clean and clean, and it will mitigate air smoke to a greater extent. In this case, you should leave a window or door open during the time of smoking so that fresh outside air can replace the air inside the room. Portable air conditioners have filters too because your system must be protected from dust and airborne particles. Ground-level ozone (which is a very important component of smog) and particles in the air will reduce air quality.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.

Air conditioners have filters to remove dust and other particles from the environment so as not to damage the air conditioning system.

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