Safeguarding Indoor Air Quality in Kamloops During Wildfire Seasons
September 20th 2023
For residents of Kamloops, the beauty of the city is undeniable. However, with the recurring wildfire seasons most summers, there's a pressing concern that affects both the outdoors and indoors: air quality. JH Home Inspections has inspected numerous homes in the region and has gathered insights on how to protect indoor air during these smoky times.
The Home Inspector's Perspective on Air Quality
One might wonder, "What insights could a home inspector offer about air quality?" Home inspectors delve deep into the intricacies of homes, understanding the nuances of air circulation, potential leak points, and the impact of various home components on indoor air quality. Through meticulous inspections, they accumulate a wealth of knowledge on optimizing and safeguarding the indoor environment of homes in Kamloops.
Recognizing the Risks
Wildfire smoke is more than just a visual obstruction; it's a mixture of gases and minuscule particles that can be detrimental to health. These particles can intensify respiratory issues and are particularly concerning for children and the elderly. Preventing this smoke from entering homes is of utmost importance - especially for more vulnerable individuals.
Strengthening Home Barriers
Windows and Doors: A fundamental step is ensuring all windows and doors are securely closed. Many homes, over time, develop minor gaps or leaks. Adding weather stripping can enhance protection.
Ventilation Systems: For those with air conditioners, using the "recirculate" setting is advised. This mode circulates indoor air, preventing smoky external air from infiltrating the home.
Embracing Air Purifiers
Investing in a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter can make a significant difference. These devices are adept at capturing the fine particles present in wildfire smoke, enhancing indoor air clarity.
Activities to Monitor
Certain in-home activities can inadvertently reduce air quality:
- Refrain from smoking indoors.
- Limit the use of candles, wood-burning fireplaces, and gas stoves.
- If vacuuming is necessary, ensure the vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter to prevent particle agitation.
The Concept of a Clean Room
It's beneficial to designate a "clean room" in the home. This space, ideally well-sealed and equipped with an air purifier, can serve as a haven on days when external smoke is overwhelming.
Being informed is crucial. Regularly monitoring local air quality reports and staying updated on wildfire situations can guide decisions, such as when it's appropriate to ventilate the home.
The Importance of HVAC Maintenance
The HVAC system is pivotal in air quality management. During wildfire seasons, its filters can become inundated with smoke particles. Regular checks and replacements ensure the system functions optimally.
While the challenge of maintaining pristine indoor air during wildfire seasons is significant, with the right strategies and tools, it's surmountable. JH Home Inspections is dedicated to more than just home inspections; we want to help Kamloops homes offer a safe and comfortable environment as a refuge from low air quality.
If you’re in need of a home inspection in Kamloops, schedule an inspection today